Scam leaves US production companies short changed

Gear losses estimated at more than $1 million reported.
Money down the drain: Gear losses are estimated to be worth over $1 million.
Money down the drain: Gear losses are estimated to be worth over $1 million.

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Live event production companies across North America have collectively suffered losses estimated to be well over $1 million worth of audio gear as a result of an elaborate scam.

The companies say they provided stock to a man identifying himself as Greg Bruce, "tour technical director" of Sony Music - an identity that has since proved to be a fake.

Other companies have also been affected by the alleged scam but have not yet made their losses public.

Digital Console Rental founder Howard Jones noted that, rather than a quick hit, the person responsible for the gear losses had been in contact with his company over the course of many weeks starting in October, and, in addition to references and paperwork, raised few red flags that would have brought him under suspicion as anything other than a legitimate rental customer.

Jones conceded that in hindsight, a more thorough investigation of the alleged con artist's insurance certificate would have exposed him as a fraud, and encouraged others in the industry to thoroughly check out the insurance paperwork of any new customers as a safeguard.

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