Charges Filed Against Manager in Hollywood Talent Scam Crackdown

Debra Baum faces two years in jail if convicted

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has filed charges against talent manager Debra Baum as part of its crackdown on Hollywood talent scams, City Attorney Mike Feuer said Friday.

Baum, 53, has been charged with four counts of violating the Talent Scam Prevention Act and faces up to two years in jail and $20,000 in fines if convicted. Among other stipulations, the act prohibits agents and talent managers from charging an advance fee for representation.

According to the city attorney’s office, Baum allegedly solicited a 19-year-old singer in a hair salon in March 2012, signing her to a $10,000 per month management contract. The contract was terminated that September, but not before the family paid out $70,000 in management fees to Baum.

The singer’s sister was also allegedly solicited by Baum, to whom the family shelled out $40,000 in management fees.

“Thousands come to Hollywood every year to pursue their dreams in the entertainment industry,” Feuer said. “We need to protect them from those who would dash those dreams by taking unfair advantage of them.”

Baum’s arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 5.