Pop stars have a lot of money and little time to pay attention to where it’s going. That’s why they’re always getting swindled. Rihanna recently sued her accountants, and U2 bassist Adam Clayton’s personal assistant was sent to prison for stealing a few million dollars.
If you haven’t found a summer job yet, you may want to consider working for a pop star. It’s not rocket science in the first place, and you can usually line your pockets when nobody’s looking. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Pick someone who is both rich and disorganized.
The key to finding a pop star to swindle is picking someone who has enough money that they don’t notice when some of it goes missing. Also, try to find someone so disorganized that they need to surround themselves with a team of people, some of whom seem to do nothing. If all the members of the entourage are as disorganized as the artist, they won’t notice that you’re also doing nothing.
MC Hammer went bankrupt in the early '90s due to bad investments, lawsuits and a staff of over 200 people who cost him $6 million a year. While working for Hammer doesn’t technically count as swindling him, it still sounds like it was a great way to earn a living.
2. Become their business manager or personal assistant.
While it’s fine to be a generic member of an entourage, business managers and personal assistants are in positions of trust, often without any actual qualifications. They have an all-access pass to the pop star’s bank accounts. If that trust level is high, you can explain away any expense. As long as the pop star’s lifestyle doesn’t decrease, they’ll have no reason to suspect anything.
The bad side of being a business manager is that you’re generally the first to be accused when any money goes missing. Leonard Cohen, k.d. lang and others have filed suits against their former business managers for financial wrongdoing. The lesson: don’t get sloppy.
3. Don’t get greedy.
Remember, it’s a long con. If you want to take a few extra bucks, be inconspicuous about it. If your employer is paying you five figures and he sees you driving a six-figure Ferrari, that will probably get you fired, if not worse. It’s much more prudent to stay on the payroll for decades and pinch a small amount of cash from time to time.
The former personal assistant of U2's Clayton was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing 2.2 million British pounds. She was being paid 38,000 pounds (almost $60,000) a year to provide maid and bookkeeping services. She spent Clayton’s money on an apartment in New York and a stable with 22 horses. The lesson: if you start tracking thoroughbred manure into the house you’re supposed to be cleaning, people might notice.
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on Jul 16, 2012