By Abby Reed
MIDLAND - More than 400 people, have apparently been duped out of money, after a local hotel says they were duped by a concert booking agent, claiming to represent a famous rap artist.
As NewsWest 9 first reported, managers with the Midland Clarion say they thought they booked a famous rap artist to perform this weekend, but instead, they learned that the booking agent they were using was a phony. However, NewsWest 9 has uncovered new information about the man who tried to bring that rap artist to town.
The artist's name is Nicki Minaj and she's currently on tour overseas. However, up until a day or two ago, managers with the Midland Clarion say they thought she was going to be performing at their hotel. They even sold more than 400 tickets, ranging from $50 to $100.
Hotel manager Medric Sydnor says his hotel learned the booking agent they were using was fake, however, Sydnor won't say who that bogus booking agent is. In addition, NewsWest 9 has learned, Sydnor hasn't reported the crime to police, either.
According to Medric, he and his hotel have decided to use a private detective instead of alerting authorities. NewsWest 9 has also learned that Sydnor has been convicted of embezzlement in the past. According to the court officials in Lea County, Sydnor pleaded guilty to embezzlement back in 2003.
"I can tell you this, anybody who's been through the legal system know, that especially in Lea County, if you have really done something wrong, they put you behind bars," Sydnor said.
Sydnor wasn't put behind bars. Court administrators say, through his plea deal, he served no jail time.
Sydnor says his hotel plans to refund every single customer, but he doesn't know how much money he collected, or how many customers he had. Meantime, he says he's upset that NewsWest 9 went digging into his past.
"You got to understand, my trust level for reporters now, it's shot, because I know you've got your own job to do, and when you leave here, you're not anymore thinking about the issue, you're thinking about what's going to be good for the story," Sydnor said.