Scammer ‘Sells’ Diamond Dave

What appears to be one scam artist who has spent the better part of 2006 promising big-time talent to clubs at too-good-to-be-true prices is still at it.

The scam artist, known for a “force manure” clause in his contracts, has struck at three more clubs in two states. This time, the impersonator used the name of a well-known booking agent in one of the schemes.

Garry Buck of Monterey International in Chicago told Pollstar he was alerted to the ruse to book David Lee Roth in mid-June when he got a call from a Scottsdale, Ariz., club asking for a promo photo.

“That’s when the egg cracked open with us finding out they were scammed by a man claiming to be the manager booking the date. He wasn’t using my name at the time; he used another alias – Michael Robertson,” Buck said.”I’ve had four other people make contact with us about the scam with dates confirmed in tertiary markets in small clubs. The last two guys were smart enough to go to the Web site, see that we represented Dave and make contact with us.”

Buck’s name, along with the names David Wilson and Bill Cantor, was used in a contract dated July 20th booking an August 18th Roth performance for $3,500 at Jimmy’s Roadhouse Saloon in Quincy, Mich. The singer is scheduled to perform at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich., August 19th.

The scam became clear when Gary Buck (sic) of “Gary Buck Management” e-mailed the club owners from “my blackberry” July 31st to say the event was “canceled by upper management” and that he had been “fired from this co.”

“Your refund will be for $1,750 plus the cost of UPS and I will send a few extra hundred for the hassle,” the e-mail said. “My flight leaves for Fresno in 20 min. I am at the airport right now as we speak.”

The deposit – and the few extra hundred – are still missing.

The real Buck said he contacted the Chicago Police Department about the fraud but was directed to the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

“[The police department] said to me that because contracts were involved and no monies were taken from me personally, it becomes a civil matter,” he explained.

Copies of the contracts and related correspondence obtained by Pollstar show the same contract template used in scams involving Poison, Bret Michaels, Alice In Chains, and Axl Rose concerts. In addition to bargain-basement guarantees for the acts, the contract contains the same content flaws, including the force majeure clause tellingly misspelled “force manure.”

Other names used by the phony artist rep include Robertson, John Bryant and Doug Goldstein with various business names including Try-Star Entertainment, Michael Robinson Management and Robertson/Goldstein Management – all listing addresses in Chicago or Florida.

The Venue of Scottsdale in Arizona was tricked by the scammer using the alias Michael Robynsen, booking a June 29th Roth performance for $5,000.

In each case, venue staff has been directed to mail a certified check to a Chicago address, which varies per contract.

Buck said he isn’t letting the situation go and is determined to get to the bottom of it.

“He’s using my name. That’s where he really crossed the line with me. I’m going to drop coin on the table to find this nut,” he said. “I’ve never had a fake agent sell one of my clients to somebody and that person bought it. So you kind of think, ‘That’s the club’s fault; it’s really kind of lame. You may as well move on.’

“But when this happened again and he started using my name, I got real serious about it. He’s definitely worse than a dirty bootlegger.”

– Tina Amendola