Los Angeles Times

Talent manager is convicted in scam

- By Daniel Miller daniel. miller@ latimes. com

Hollywood talent manager Debra Baum has been convicted of charging the family of two aspiring entertaine­rs $ 110,000 in illegal upfront fees.

In a four- count criminal case brought by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office in January, Baum was accused of violating the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act. Thelaw, which went in to effect in2010, prohibits managers, agents and other people who represent actors to charge them any fees other than commission­s.

Baum, 53, entered a plea Thursday of no contest to one count of operating an advance fee talent service. L. A. County Superior Court Judge Deborah Brazil sentenced Baum to 36 months of probation and ordered her to serve 45 days in jail or perform 20 days of community labor, according to the office of City Atty. Mike Feuer.

The office alleged in January that Baum solicited a 19- year- old singer in a hair salon, signing her toa$ 10,000a- month management contract in 2012. By the time the deal was severed about seven months later, the singer’s family had paid Baum $ 70,000 in management fees and spent thousands of dollars more with third parties on vocal training and other work.

Baum also was alleged to have ensnared the singer’s sister, leading the family to spend an additional $ 40,000 in an effort to further the sibling’s acting career.

As part of her plea, Baum has agreed to make restitutio­n of $ 91,252.75. She could no tbe reached for comment.

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