Manager and promoter of the Orange County rock band “The Racer” Condemned to
One year in prison after previous conviction Big theft of crime
and criminal possession of a counterfeit instrument
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the sentencing and sentencing of Richard J. Clair, Jr., 52, an Ohio resident, for joining the Orange County band, New York, had stolen $ 50,000 from “The Racer.” Clair, who previously served as the band’s manager and promoter, lied to the music trio by claiming he needed the money to promote an album and an upcoming concert tour. Instead, Clair used the band’s money to subsidize his own personal expenses, including groceries, fast food purchases, and over $ 8,500 in cash withdrawals. When Clair was confronted by the group, Clair forged documents containing a contract to make it appear as if he had received a record deal for the band. Clair pleaded guilty to the Honorable William L. DeProspo in the Orange County Supreme Court last October, guilty of third-degree robbery and the criminal possession of a counterfeit second-degree instrument. Clair was sentenced to one year in prison today.
“Richard Clair’s theft and dishonest money management left The Racer with nothing but broken dreams and an empty bank account,” said Attorney General James. “Instead of redeeming a promised recording deal, Clair worked hard for the money he stole – he lied, forged, and committed crimes that left the music trio penniless. Today’s conviction not only ensures that Clair is put behind bars, but he also no longer has the option of leaving another band in the dust. “
“I commend the Attorney General’s Office, our State Police Department of Financial Crime, and all of our law enforcement partners for their hard work in exposing this fraud,” said New York State Police Superintendent Bruen. “This person has come up with a devious plan to cheat these trusty band members out of thousands of dollars. The conviction of this person is a strong signal that those who defraud innocent victims will be held accountable for their crimes and brought to justice. ”
Today’s conviction and conviction are the result of a joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau (OAG) and the Financial Crimes Unit of the New York State Police (NYSP). According to the OAG, members of The Racer were introduced in July 2015 to Clair, the owner of a music promotion and marketing company called “The Essential Group”. Clair offered to promote the band as a manager and agent. Just five months later, in December 2015, Clair stole $ 50,000 from the group by falsely telling the band members that he got them to sign a record label and that he needed the money to pay marketing expenses. Clair assured the members of the trio that the money would be deposited into a special customer account and that they would control how it was spent.
Contrary to Clair’s accounts, however, a forensic review by the NYSP found that Clair transferred the band’s money to a personal bank account instead, and then spent it entirely on personal expenses over the next several months – including over $ 13,000 in grocery stores, over $ 8,500 in cash withdrawals and thousands of dollars on fast food, coffee, and other retailers. By August 2016, the band’s money was completely exhausted and Clair’s personal bank account was overdrawn.
When Clair failed to produce the record deal he said was imminent, the band grew
suspicious and began to ask for his money back. Clair responded in 2016 by deceptively telling the band that he had made a deal on their behalf with an Oregon-based record label. Clair never presented a signed agreement, and eventually the band demanded that he break any existing agreements and return the money. Clair then sent the band a fake termination agreement that was supposedly signed by the Oregon record label.
The OAG would like to thank the NYSP Financial Crimes Unit and the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office for their valuable assistance in this investigation.
The OAG investigation was conducted by Detective Investigator Dennis Churns under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam. The investigation office is headed by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes.
The case is being pursued by Law Enforcement and Financial Crime Office Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark. The Law Enforcement and Financial Crime Bureau is led by Office Manager Stephanie Swenton and Assistant Office Manager Joseph G. D’Arrigo.
The Investigations Bureau and the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau are both part of the criminal justice division headed by Assistant Attorney General José Maldonado and overseen by First Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Levy.