The Academy of Country Music and artist manager Scott Siman are among the first to offer their financial support to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in its $l.1 million fundraising campaign to defray costs to retain ownership of historic musical instruments once owned by the late Bill Monroe, Maybelle Carter and Johnny Cash. The museum recently reached a $750,000 settlement with the estate of the Robert W. McLean, a Murfreesboro, Tenn., businessman and philanthropist who committed suicide in 2007 after entering into involuntary bankruptcy. McLean, who operated a business that handled investments for individuals, was later accused of running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $67 million. With McLean's philanthropic support, the not-for-profit museum entered into agreements to buy two of popular music's most significant instruments -- Monroe's Gibson F-5 Loar mandolin and Carter's Gibson L-5 guitar. McLean also donated two Martin guitars that been owned by Cash. Since McLean's death, the museum has continued to honor the purchase agreements he had pledged to fund. The museum is required to pay the $750,000 settlement by Feb. 22. The museum is also required to pay legal costs associated with the court case and settlement. The California-based ACM has donated $300,000 to the cause, and Siman has provided $150,000. Siman's Nashville-based company, RPM Management, represents Tim McGraw and Julianne Hough, among others. Siman and museum board president Steve Turner will lead the Precious Jewel Fund campaign to generate donations within the music industry. Ricky Skaggs will steer a national fundraising drive aimed at music fans. Tax-deductible contributions may be made by phoning (615) 416-2050.
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