SEPT. 18 I DAVE GUARDALA I LEGAL
Dave Guardala, once a high-profile name among saxophone makers, was sentenced to four years in jail on Sept. 11 in Federal Court in Islip, N.Y. In 2008, Guardala pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip to one count of wire fraud, according to a report in Newsday, a Long Island, N.Y.-based newspaper.
He was charged with attempting to convince acquaintances to give him money to invest in rare musical instruments, cameras and businesses that didn't exist. The wire fraud charge involved Guardala’s plan to get two acquaintances to send him a total of approximately $277,000 through Western Union and MoneyGram.
Saxophonist Bill Evans was a longtime friend of Guardala’s and one of his many victims. Evans said he lost $1,000 after Guardala alleged he had been pick-pocketed in a Taiwanese airport.
“I had no reason to believe he wouldn't be honest,” Evans said. “As it turned out, he was never going to pay me back. It really blew my mind that he would throw a friendship of 25 years down the tubes.”
“How does one place a sentence relative to millions of dollars?” said saxophonist Greg Vail, another one of Guardala’s victims. “It seems like 48 months is a very small price to pay for millions of dollars and life destruction for dozens of people.”
The Guardala name is still used by Woodwind and Brasswind and Professional Music Shop, a German company. During his career, Guardala’s mouthpieces had earned endorsements from musicians, such as Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis and Dave Liebman.