MUSIC PRODUCER'S £170,000 SWINDLE
Jailed for 'telling lies to extract cash'
A CROOKED music producer and band manager fleeced a businessman out of nearly £170,000 after repeatedly lying to him about a new money-making venture.
He also conned a trusting rock band by pretending he had struck a lucrative deal with music giants EMI, a court heard.
Roy Clay, 47, of Darnholm Court, Grimsby, admitted two offences of obtaining money transfers by deception between December 2004 and March 2005 and another of producing a fraudulent document.
David Brooke, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that Clay promoted himself as being involved in the music business, producing and distributing.
He persuaded businessman Alexander Milroy to invest £169,421 in a scheme to sell CDs for artists with whom Clay had connections. Clay also became the manager for progressive rock band Nektar - who have a huge fanbase in Germany - and claimed he had connections with music concerts, royalties and merchandising.
“He seemed to be a man who promises a great deal but who is not always able to deliver what he promises,” said Mr Brooke.
“Money was eaten up with expenses and came to nothing. His reaction was to fob them off with many, many excuses.”
Mr Milroy, from the Reading area, was introduced to Clay, who was working as a graphic designer. Clay persuaded him to invest money in projects.
He said he needed cash to work with Cadiz Music Ltd, a music distribution company, to sell CDs for various artists with whom he had contact. Clay’s company would distribute them
via Cadiz and he led Mr Milroy to believe there would be a lot of interest.
Mr Milroy was very interested and agreed to invest £20,000, expecting to make a big return. The cash was to fund the production of CDs for sale but Clay did not do so and used much of the money to clear his own considerable debts, including £8,000 on credit cards.
Another £149,000 was later pumped in by Mr Milroy. Clay falsely led him to believe that there was a 90 per cent guarantee on pre-sale CD orders. Clay spoke in “grand terms” about lucrative opportunities that would “catapult him into the big league”.
Mr Milroy was “taken in” and came under pressure from Clay to produce money - or opportunities would disappear: Clay faked and forged documents from Cadiz to add credibility to his claims. He spent months travelling around the world, supposedly on concert promotions.
Mr Milroy became very worried about his investments and repeatedly tried to contact Clay but he was fobbed off with further promises. Clay claimed he had a deal with EMI.
“He always assured him everything was well,” said Mr Brooke.
Judge Alan Goldsack QC told Clay he “told lies to extract money” from Mr Milroy.
He added: “You had lied persistently throughout the police investigations. An enormous amount of police time had to be expended to bring you to justice. You believed you had hit upon a way of making substantial profits.
“You told quite deliberate lies and forged documents. Having received money, it was all spent within a few months. You told Mr Milroy many more lies over subsequent months as he tried to find out what had happened to his investments. It has all gone. He is the loser to the extent of almost £170,000.”
Clay was jailed for two years and 11 months.
Rockers fell under Clay's spell as he promised EMI deal
Manager produced a false contract on his computer
MEMBERS of progressive rock group Nektar fell under the spell of Roy Clay and he pretended he had secured a money-spinning deal with EMI.
David Brooke, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said the band, formed in Hamburg in 1969, was particularly popular in Germany.
It split up in the 19703 but reformed in 2002 and, in 2005, lead singer Roye Albrighton met Clay.
He impressed the band greatly and in 2006 “very enthusiastically” became its manager. He came up with all sorts of plans to record new material and reissue Old albums. There was a concert in New Jersey.
“Many of these things ran in to the sand,” said Mr Brooke. “A studio recording in Germany went bad. All the money was eaten in expenses. The band saw very little, if anything, of that money.
“Clay was very anxious to assure the band he was about to make a contract with EMI.
“For many, many months, the defendant carried on with the lie that this deal was going to go ahead.”
From the summer of 2006 to March 2007, he gave “comical” excuses about the money that was about to appear and that it was simply a matter of waiting.
“The band became increasingly agitated and worried about this,” said Mr Brooke.
“Eventually, under a great deal of pressure from Mr Albrighton, Clay produced a full document, a purported contract signed with EMI. He admitted during interview there had never been a deal with EMI.”
A false document had been produced on his computer.
“Eventually, the band had enough and fired him,” said Mr Brooke.
The group made a complaint and the other matters, involving businessman Alexander Milroy, came to light.
Clay - Who had no previous convictions - claimed he never intended his investors to lose money and wanted only to make money for them, the court heard.
Gordon Stables, mitigating, said Clay admitted lying and misleading Alexander Milroy into thinking 90 per cent of sales for CD stock would be guaranteed.
“He believed he was good at business and that he would make money,” said Mr Stables. “He genuinely believed there was a very good business opportunity here and that it would be successful. That it failed was not for want of trying. Money was spent in furtherance of the business in order to try to promote it.”
Clay was hit by a worldwide slump in CD sales when young people started to use MP3 recordings instead.
Clay assumed live audience sales would translate into CD sales, which did not happen.
“It was not intended that Mr Milroy would have any loss,” said Mr Stables. “It was intended that everybody would make substantial money from the business. It was financial mismanagement.”
Roy Clay - Music Produceer's £170,000 Swindle|Grimsby Telegraph - 2011-04-18