Country Music Benefactor Accused of Fraud

A Murfreesboro, Tenn., businessman who bankrolled the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s acquisitions of historic musical instruments once owned by Bill Monroe and Maybelle Carter is facing lawsuits from several investors who collectively claim he defrauded them of more than $10 million, according to The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. Robert W. McLean, 59, was not present at a court hearing held Wednesday (July 18) in Murfreesboro. Court documents indicated he was hospitalized Sunday (July 15) at a mental health institute in Nashville. The plaintiffs claim they provided from $500,000 to $8.5 million each for investments he controlled. McLean, a philanthropist and country music fan, made his donations to the museum in 2004 and 2005. Although the purchase prices were not disclosed, Monroe’s 1923 Gibson F-5 mandolin had once been priced at $1.125 million and Carter’s 1928 Gibson L-5 guitar at $575,000.