Warner Music Employee Steals $700,000 From Label
While record labels have historically been accused of bilking artists out of their earnings, it appears that this time around, one of the majors has been conned by an employee.
The New York Post reports that a Manhattan Warner Music Group's executive has been accused of stealing $700,000 from the label -- home to artists like T.I., Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz and B.o.B. -- by submitting phony invoices from a dummy company he set up himself.
Andrew Robertson, 44, an office equipment buyer for Warner, reportedly carried out his scam from March 2007 until July 1,
submitting inflated invoices for TVs, stereo and AV equipment from fake manufacturing company "A.I. Robinson," whose headquarters were listed as his private home address in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Robertson's scam is an old one; he purchased the equipment at lower prices, then allegedly resold it to his company, pocketing the difference, though it is not clear exactly where the electronics ended up. The con was uncovered when a Warner VP recognized the company's name and address and confronted Robertson, who confessed to the crime, claiming he had only taken $100,000, according to court documents.
"When confronted, defendant admitted [he] created the company, A.I. Robinson, and that [he] would buy products using [his] personal account and submit invoices for more than the amount paid for said products," the unnamed VP told the court.
Robertson has been charged with grand larceny and released from police custody, after posting $10,000 bail.
According to a spokesperson for the company, Robertson is no longer employed by WMG.