DA Vance: Talent Agent and Companies Indicted for Stealing $1.3 Million from Clients Seeking to Book Musical Performances by Famous Recording Artists


March 4, 2015

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of YUGESHWAR RAJKUMAR, 44, a talent booking agent who used the name “Mateo Rajkumar” or “Matthew Rajkumar” professionally, and several of the entities he operated in Manhattan – AMERICAN TALENT AGENCY, INC., AMERICAN TALENT AGENCY, LLC., KAYVANA ENTERTAINMENT LLC., and MATEO PRODUCTIONS, INC. – for stealing more than $1.3 million from multiple event promoters by promising to book famous recording artists for clients and instead pocketing the money intended to pay for the performances. The defendants are charged in an indictment in New York State Supreme Court with Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, as well as Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.[1]

“Using big names and celebrity appeal to hook victims is a scheme we’ve encountered before,” said District Attorney Vance. “As alleged in this case, the defendant capitalized on his name and reputation in the music industry to take advantage of international victims seeking to book performances by artists such as Chris Brown and Akon, believing that his victims would be unable to pursue recourse against him because of their locations abroad. However, my Office will continue to seek justice for victims of fraud and theft, no matter where those victims are located.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, beginning in August 2008, RAJKUMAR, a talent agent known for arranging performances by hip-hop artists, led multiple promoters to believe that he would book musical artists such as Akon, Chris Brown, T-Pain, and MC Hammer, for concerts in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East in exchange for payments ranging from $45,000 to more than $300,000. The defendant is accused of directing the victims to send money to banks accounts that RAJKUMAR controlled in the name of his co-defendant entities. Instead of using the money to book the promised talent, however, RAJKUMAR made significant cash withdrawals, cumulating in the theft of more than $1.3 million from his clients. He is accused of using those funds for rent, car payments, legal fees, and the repayment of personal debts. 

In most instances, the promised concerts were never organized, and in other cases, RAJKUMAR’s victims were forced to make additional payments to book the desired artist through other channels. 

In a similar but unrelated case, in July 2014, MECEO MCEADDY was sentenced to 5-to-10 years in state prison and co-defendant SYLVESTER VINCENT CARROLL was sentenced to 3-to-9 years in state prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, among other charges. The pair promised to book performances by popular artists such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Justin Timberlake, when in fact, the defendants had no ability to enter into contracts on their behalf.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Sacks is handling the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Julieta Lozano, Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, Christopher Conroy, Principal Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, Polly Greenberg, Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David M. Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Rackets Investigator Steven Kay assisted with the investigation under the supervision of Supervising Rackets Investigator Jonathan Reid, Deputy Chief Investigator Santiago Batista, and Chief Investigator Walter Alexander. Investigative Analyst Samuel Hobbs and Financial Investigator Frank Nonnemacher also assisted with the investigation. 

District Attorney Vance thanked the United States Marshals Service for the Southern District of New York for their assistance with RAJKUMAR’s arrest. 

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.
 

Defendant Information:
 
YUGESHWAR RAJKUMAR, A/K/A MATEO RAJKUMAR, A/K/A MATTHEW RAJKUMAR, D.O.B. 11/16/1970 
Bergen, NJ
 
Charges: 

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 4 counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

AMERICAN TALENT AGENCY, INC.
New York, NY

Charges

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 3 counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

AMERICAN TALENT AGENCY, LLC.
New York, NY

Charges

  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

KAYVANA ENTERTAINMENT, LLC.
New York, NY

Charges

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

MATEO PRODUCTIONS, INC.
New York, NY

Charges

  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

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