(CNN)It sounds like the plot of Broadway hit “The Producers” come to life: A man conned seven investors into giving him $165,000 to produce a fake Broadway play, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Prosecutors indicted former talent agent Roland Scahill, 41. He is accused of criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and scheme to defraud.
Prosecutors said Scahill conned seven people, most of whom were his friends, by convincing them he was producing a play about famed opera singer Kathleen Battle called “The KB Project.”
Scahill spent the money to buy stocks and stock option contracts, pay credit card bills and pay for personal items like rent and food, prosecutors said.
Scahill has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He “is therefore presumed to be innocent,” his attorney James DeVita said. “That is how our system of justice is supposed to work.”
Prosecutors said in 2014, Scahill told seven would-be investors he was lead producer of a new Broadway show about Battle.
Battle, daughter of an Ohio steelworker and a church volunteer, rose to sing with the New York Metropolitan Opera, until she was fired in 1994. Scahill claimed he was mounting a “one-woman show” focusing on the day Battle was fired from the MET Opera, according to court documents.
Here are some knee jerk reactions after reading this article:
- $165,000 doesn’t seem like that much for Broadway. Seems like this guy really undersold it.
- If you were going to lie about producing a Broadway show, why wouldn’t you make it about something badass? Like who gives a damn about some opera singer 96% of the world has never heard of.
- Kind of a sleeze ball move to take this cash from his personal friends. This is the type of thing you go outside the circle of trust for
- This guy is a terrible criminal. Got wayyyy too specific about his plans so people could easily call him out
Basically what I’m trying to say is this guy is a terrible con artist. Like check the fuck in just one time. In Being a Criminal 101 ol Roland must’ve been absent on don’t be a moron day.
Steps to being a good con artist:
- Don’t be stupid
- Don’t leave a paper trail
- Don’t con your friends
Not rocket science there bud