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Old 11-28-05, 07:45 PM   #1
le pire
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Default unethical agent-- the next step

There is an agent here in the Boston area who is known for short changing acts $50 here, $20 there for just about every gig she books. Chasing her down over the "mistake" is always a HUGE hassel, and many performers have gotten used to it. They let her get away with theft, mostly because they are afraid she will stop giving them gigs.

WELL, this unethical agent recently bragged to an associate that the money she skims she puts into a separate bank account, and then uses the money at the end of the year for her own personal "luxury." (she's bought big screen plasma TVs, gone on vacation, etc.) She boasted that she skimmed $15,000 last year.

This person is clearly commiting crimes. Theft, embezzelment, fraud, and more. She is the kind of agent that gives agents a bad name and I would like to see this person prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

My question is... how to proceed? does anyone have any expertise in this area or any thoughts on how to go about it? I've been watching Law and Order, but the closest they come to this is where the person who does the stealing gets murdered and that seems a bit extreme...

etienne


p.s. please feel free to email me off-forum too. etienne@veryfunny.com
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Old 11-28-05, 09:18 PM   #2
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go with the murder option
you have my support
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Old 11-28-05, 10:18 PM   #3
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One way I always use to hold an agent's foot to the fire on late or short pay is by threatening to contact the person who paid them to hire me. On the gigs, I am usually able to find an innocent reason to pick up their card, or there is always enough info to go on from the contract.

It is normally effective: can't say if it costs me gigs, but what's the loss really, gigs from someone like that. Try it before you buy the 12 guage.
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Old 11-29-05, 12:42 AM   #4
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Default Call Tony Soprano...

He owes me a favor.

Or do what I do: Name names. "Out" this agent to any other performers who are not already wise to her game. Be blunt. Tell everyone in the biz you know - including everyone on this board - who she is so we know enough to hang up when she calls.

I'm not kidding. I no longer work with ACA Music & Entertainment in Wisconsin because their agent Nancy threatened to sue me when I refused to work with her anymore because I got fed up listening to her lies. So now I tell everyone I know to hang up the phone when she calls.

Some do, some don't.

Ask yourself if you really want to work with this bitch again. I know I don't.

Last edited by pablo; 11-29-05 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 11-29-05, 04:13 AM   #5
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"Fullest extent of the law" means just that: taking your evidence to the DA's office, making a sworn statement about every detail you can recall (bringing along 2 or 3 supporting witnesses won't hurt, either), and let them start the proceedings. If you are REALLY serious about prosecuting, then keep bringing in new witnesses every month, and make a general pest of yourself (injured party that you are) by calling in every 2 or 3 weeks to ask how the investigation is coming along.

That's the high road. You've already been given examples of the low road. Both roads get results, but they can't be mixed. If the DA sees the vindictive stuff happening behind the scenes (and they will), your motives will become just as suspect. Ironically, you could even be sued by the agent for loss of income and/or slander, etc. You must be able to see ahead 2 years for the preferred outcome, and then choose accordingly.

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Old 11-29-05, 10:35 AM   #6
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Pablo- I've never done much work for this person- usually about 1-3 gigs per year.

And this is why I haven't 'outted' her:

taking your evidence to the DA's office, making a sworn statement about every detail you can recall (bringing along 2 or 3 supporting witnesses won't hurt, either), and let them start the proceedings

I'll have to collect evidence. The problem is that every one knows she's slime, but no one seems to want to do anything about it. This agent books mostlty corporate, mostly walkaround entertainment, has a little arts and crafts table, a dj, you know the kind of thing. She has a steady stable of performers that are all very submissive to her & her crimes. They all complain behind her back, and know what is going on, but at the same time they are afraid of losing those 3 hour, $85 an hour gigs of making balloon dogs and swords.

So I realize that I'm in a bit of a unique position in that I do not depend on this person for a sizable chunk of my income, and I can afford the 'luxuary' of being outraged and wanting to do something about it.

I've never seen any of the people she uses up on Pnet and the Boston performers that are up here (Jim, Peter, Dan, etc.) are far to high quality (and expensive) for this person. They may do 1 or 2 gigs per year for this person, if at all.

etienne
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Old 11-29-05, 12:48 PM   #7
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Default another option?

Raise your rates, or build the cost of the average loss back into the contract. Could be combined with a rebate, or ask for a bigger deposit. But that is the easy way out.

Good luck with the prosecution. Sounds like it needs to be done. If you KNOW she is skimming you, makes you wonder what else she is doing. There was a car dealership in Colorado that got taken by an event planner for around $50,000 a few years ago. Ouch! That kills the market and hurts everybody.
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Old 11-30-05, 01:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: another option?

Quote:
Originally posted by Stretch
Raise your rates, or build the cost of the average loss back into the contract. Could be combined with a rebate, or ask for a bigger deposit.
Stretch, please actually read my last post.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:32 PM   #9
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I think my solution is perfect, at least try it before you murder the poor crooked lady.
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Old 12-01-05, 08:49 AM   #10
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I think you could have some fun taking Taxi Trix advice one further and LITERALLY hold her foot to a fire. ...Lawsuit Shmawsuit. You could work it into an act.

Always unhelpful,

-rachel
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Old 05-26-06, 11:13 AM   #11
Dan, a balloon man
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I was in a small town recently and they had a gas station that had one of those advertising boards on the side of the road that said "Hey John Smith...your check bounced...please come in here and bring cash this time"......I am sure it worked!!! Just a thought.
On a side note...I recently saw one of the same signs on the side of the road for a company that is famous for their "$8 haircuts". The sign read "$8 haircuts".
Not even 2 blocks down the road was another company that offered hair cutting services with their own sign on the side of the road and theirs simply read "We fix $8 haircuts"
Muwahahahahaha....the balls of some people!!! A very BOLD advertising move....wonder if it works??
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