The music industry is full of fat cat top feeders who prey upon and take advantage of the aspirations of beginning artists trying to get established in the cess pool of the music industry.
I met Tony Saunders (D.B.A. Magic Castle Studios) when I was finishing off a self produced music CD. I needed to re-do a particular bass track and it was made known to me Saunders was available and had an illustrious resume as a bass player. The rest of the musicians on the project were friends of mine and basically worked for dirt cheap expenses knowing I was not particularly financially well off. Tony originally wanted me to pay him union scale of $500/hour but he reluctantly agreed to $350/hour which in hind sight was my first red flag that this guy is all about money. I was in a very upbeat mood about this project and Tony being the hustler he is picked up on this and took advantage of it IMHO. I have learned the hard way in life that when you are in a particularly good mood you can be very vulnerable to scam artists. Tony paints himself as a great Christian with Jesus messages even on his cell phone voice mail. The worst scam artists are the ones that pretend to be religious to lure marks into a false sense of trust. They talk about Jesus all the time but never actually live like they talk. Hypocrite is the word that comes to mind. Saunders claims to be an international CD licensing agent flying all over the world visiting his mega contacts throughout the music industry and does not hesitate to drop big names to impress nave beginning artists. He immediately started telling me my music was strong and that he felt very confident a recording contract could be procured based on his recommendations to his numerous high level contacts. His first false pretense was knowing full well that the chances of me attaining a contract at my age of 56 were slim and none with slim taking the bus. He is very charismatic so I tended to rely on his misrepresentations to my detriment. His promise to personally submit my material to 150 recording companies worldwide was very attractive to me. Because of this promise he demanded that I immediately pay him $1000 upfront to master my CD and print 150 copies. After numerous requests I never received any receipts proving he actually made these copies. He asked for a BIO from me which I submitted expecting help from him to get right but received zero input from him in this regard. He also promised to put me in touch with a promoter in Colorado who could start booking me right away (another liethis never happened). After I paid him the $1000 upfront fee he started pressuring me for an additional $2000 to prove my seriousness which he claimed he needed in order to submit to the 150 recording companies. I had two meetings with him over about two years At the first meeting I was told the $30,000 of my hard earned money I already put into the project was inconsequential and meaningless. At the second meeting I wanted to know exactly what record companies he submitted to. He quick brought up a list on his computer from across the room which I couldn't even read. At this second meeting I was told he would submit my songs to Willie Nelson through a famous name dropped colleague who was supposedly currently working with Willieanother lie which I stupidly believed. It is interesting to note both meetings were interrupted because Tony had to drive to the bank. This gives Tony the opportunity to put you in the back seat of his huge Mercedes that you're supposed to be really impressed with. I never got so much as a lunch, dinner or even a thank you note for the $3000 that he got out of me Written requests for receipts, itineraries, correspondences with record companies and other specific information were all ignored I finally sent a formal demand letter and filed a complaint in small claims court. I was even willing to forgo asking for my $3000 back if he could prove he actually submitted to the 150 record companies. Con-men are good at evading legal service. Tony Saunders lists a PO Box only on his website and Magic Castle Studios is crammed in the back of one of his rental houses at 136 Sheppard, Hercules, Ca with no office open to the public. Even if you win a legal judgment against these kind of scam artists it is hard to collect. After numerous attempts to serve Saunders with legal papers which he evaded I decided to use ripoffreport.com to take this public.. It's better to just let the light of truth shine on the holes scammers hide in.
Tony Saunders lives in a multi-million dollar mansion in Martinez ,California and drives to his studio located in a half million dollar house in Hercules in a huge Mercedes. $3000 is nothing to a man like this but it is huge amount of money for me and represented the amount I needed to finish the art work on my CD and print a few hundred copies.
Tony Saunders D.B.A. Magic Castle Studios = FRAUD IMHO
The elements of a cause of action for fraud are:
(1) that a material representation was made;
(2) the representation was false;
(3) when the representation was made, the
speaker knew it was false or made it recklessly without any knowledge of the truth and as a positive assertion;
(4) the speaker made the representation with the intent that the other
party should act upon it;
(5) the party acted in reliance on the representation; and
(6) the party thereby suffered injury.
In re FirstMerit Bank, N.A., 52 S.W.3d 749, 758 (Tex. 2001).