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Originally published January 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 27, 2009 at 8:10 AM

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Former singer accused of stealing almost $100,000 from rock group

The former singer of the Dudley Manlove Quartet has been accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from the Seattle band known for its covers of The Four Seasons' "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen."

Seattle Times staff reporter

The former singer of the Dudley Manlove Quartet has been accused of stealing nearly $100,000 from the Seattle band known for its covers of The Four Seasons' "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen."

Paul Jensen, 40, was charged Friday with 32 counts of first-degree theft and 16 counts of second-degree theft in King County Superior Court. Jensen, who works at Seattle Weekly, declined to comment Monday.

Jeff Mosier, Dudley Manlove's drummer, said the five-member band replaced Jensen as singer.

"The last year was pretty rough for us obviously, but we're still playing as much as we ever have," he said.

According to charging papers, Jensen deposited $97,746 of the band's earnings into his personal account from performances at weddings, private parties and Seattle venues such as the Crocodile Cafe and the Showbox between January 2006 and December 2007. Jensen was in charge of booking events for the band, signing contracts and collecting payment for gigs, court documents said.

The other band members — Mosier, bassist Steve Okimoto, guitarist Craig Corvin and then-keyboard player Korby Sears — confronted Jensen in January 2008 after they noticed several engagement fees were past due, according to court documents. Jensen said he had used band funds held in a limited-liability company account to "float" himself financially, but that he paid them back, court documents said.

Jensen provided copies of event contracts to the other members, who discovered the contracts had been edited to increase event fees, to instruct payers to make checks payable to Jensen and to mail payment to his personal address, charging papers said.

Band members filed a theft report with the Seattle Police Department in March.

A police detective served a warrant for Jensen's bank records and compared them to the band's contracts, and found that checks ranging from $500 for a Museum of Flight event to $4,500 for a wedding were deposited into Jensen's account, according to court documents.

If found guilty of all charges, Jensen would face a standard prison sentence of five years or up to 10 years if prosecutors seek the maximum sentence.

The band traces its roots to Celibate Twist, a rock group started by Jensen and Corvin, which became Gherkin.

Hired for a wedding reception in 1994 and asked to play a few songs for older guests, the band learned several lounge songs and decided to keep playing them, said Mosier, who joined the band in 1991.

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They renamed themselves the Dudley Manlove Quartet after an actor in the legendary 1959 Ed Wood film "Plan 9 from Outer Space," and became one of the area's most popular retro club bands.

"Cheesy '60s, '70s, '80s music is what we do, guilty pleasures," Mosier said.

They play 50 to 75 club shows and private events a year.

Their MySpace site said their influences include Neil Diamond, MTV's first 20 videos, Marvin Gaye, " '80s bands who liked Marvin Gaye" and "adorable kittens."

A 1998 Seattle Times story noted of the band: "Unlike the bands that go way over-the-top into Bill Murrayish lounge lizardry, Dudley Manlove performs with sharp musicianship, and only the thinnest trace of irony."

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or schan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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