Phony entertainment booking agent charged in fraud scheme
ATLANTA – Octaveon Woods has been arraigned on wire fraud and money laundering charges for his scheme to defraud colleges, universities, and others by falsely claiming that he was a booking agent for famous musicians such as Migos, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert.
“Woods allegedly convinced others to pay him thousands of dollars to ‘book’ these artists for concerts and festivals—when he had no relationship with the artists at all,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Woods immediately laundered the money to try and conceal his fraud.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Woods owned and operated several companies, including Global Talent Agency, GTA Bookings, and National Artist Agency, that claimed to be booking agencies in the entertainment industry. Woods advertised that these agencies represented dozens of famous musicians, comedians and other artists, including hip-hop and rap artists Migos, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert.
Student groups at Emory University, the University of Missouri, and other victims hired Woods’ companies to book these artists for concerts and festivals. In reality, neither Woods nor his companies had any relationship with these artists. As soon as his victims would wire him money to book the concerts, Woods drained the funds by transferring them to other accounts and withdrawing them as cash.
Octaveon Woods, 26, of Decatur, Illinois, was arraigned this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge John K. Larkins, III. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 6, 2018.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynsey M. Barron is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.