Yugeshwar Rajkumar, a music business booking agent, has been sentenced to 3¼ -to-6½ years in state prison last week after his guilty plea in March in New York State Supreme Court to grand larceny in the second and third degrees as well as scheme to defraud in the first degree.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced on April 4th that Rajkumar, who also went by the names “Mateo Rajkumar” and “Matthew Rajkumar,” as well as several entities that he owned and operated in Manhattan, including American Talent Agency, Inc. and Kayvana Entertainment LLC., has been arrested and prosecuted for stealing more than $2 million from clients and promoters by falsely promising to book famous recording artists, including, Akon, Chris Brown, T-Pain, and MC Hammer, for events. In addition to prison terms, he was ordered to pay $1,744,900 in restitution.
Yugeshwar Rajkumar, 45, according to prosecutors, took payments of between $45,000 and $300,000 from clients for the supposed concert bookings for acts including Akon and MC Hammer. He actually just kept the money for himself. The New Jersey-born Rajkumar falsely promised his clients that he would book popular recording artists for overseas concerts, and in exchange for the supposed booking, he charged his clients between $45,000 and $300,000, and directed them to wire payments to bank accounts held by entities based in New York and controlled by Rajkumar.
However, instead of using the money to book the promised artists, the defendant made cash withdrawals and spent the money on rent, car payments, legal fees, and personal debts. In many cases, victims were forced to pay additional fees to secure performances by desired artists who were never booked by Rajkumar.
“The defendant took advantage of his reputation in the music industry to convince his victims to pay him tens of thousands of dollars to secure supposed performances by world-famous recording artists,” said Vance said. “In reality, the defendant never booked the promised artists, resulting in losses to the tune of more than $ 2 million.” Rajkumar pleaded guilty to grand larceny and scheming to defraud in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 4th.