BALTIMORE -- Flamboyant concert promoter Richard Klotzman was sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion and defrauding other promoters by falsely promising appearances by Prince and Diana Ross.
Klotzman, 42, who received the reduced prison sentence Monday as part of a plea bargain, told U.S. District Judge Joseph Howard that he was 'just asking for an opportunity to be cured and to feed my family.'
Howard, calling Klotzman 'sick' and 'a danger to society,' sentenced him to the 3 years in prison and ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment for manic depression.
'No one could be punished any more than I've been punished,' Klotzman said in a 40-minute plea to the judge. 'Everything that was important to me is gone. There's nothing left.'
Assistant U.S. Attorney Herbert Better said Klotzman bilked two promoters in Anchorage, Alaska, of a $200,000 deposit in March 1985 during rock star Prince's Purple Rain tour. Using an assumed name, Klotzman promised to set up a Prince concert in Anchorage, but instead pocketed the money.
He also kept a $120,000 deposit from an Austin, Texas, promoter and $100,000 each from promoters in Indianapolis and Denver in 1981 and 1982 to arrange concerts by Ross, Better said. Those concerts were never held.
The company that staged Prince's shows sued Klotzman in April 1985 for $10.5 million, charging he defrauded several promoters by promising to deliver Prince for concerts and collecting deposits to guarantee appearances.
In his heyday, Klotzman scattered $4,000 worth of rose petals around the hotel suite of the Rolling Stones and sent motorcycling midgets to greet singer Tom Jones, The Baltimore Sun said.
Better said Klotzman tried to evade $1 million in taxes owed for 1971 to 1974 and 1976 to 1982 by concealing his assets from the IRS.
In April 1985, virtually all of Klotzman's possessions, including paintings by Picasso and Chagall and three Mercedes were seized by the IRS.
Klotzman has been ordered to begin serving his sentence June 9.