Two Union County residents have been criminally charged with orchestrating a scheme through which they stole tens of thousands of dollars from multiple victims by falsely claiming to represent pop musicians, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Monday.
Yusuf Nadir, 45, of East 9th Avenue in Roselle and Natiyah Flagg, 28, of Grand Street in Elizabeth are charged with two counts of third-degree theft by deception; Nadir is also charged with two counts of third-degree misconduct by a corporate official, while Flagg is also charged with two counts of third-degree conspiracy to commit misconduct by a corporate official.
A yearlong investigation led by Special Prosecutions Unit Sgt. David Nechamkin revealed that Nadir allegedly masterminded the complicated scheme, through which he impersonated various real music industry professionals, according to Assistant Prosecutor Derek Nececkas, who is prosecuting the case. Using those false identities, Nadir convinced investors to enter into bogus contracts to have high-profile musicians – such as rappers Lil Wayne and Lil Yachty, for example – perform at shows and events they were planning.
Flagg’s name was used to establish and incorporate multiple music industry-related businesses, of which she was listed as president, and Flagg also opened multiple bank accounts in the name of those fictitious businesses, Nececkas said. Relying on Nadir’s verbal and written misrepresentations, a total of five victims working as two separate business groups electronically transferred more than $60,000 into multiple accounts associated with the two defendants, who would then immediately withdraw the funds for their own personal use.
Nadir was arrested at his Roselle home on Thursday and lodged in Union County Jail pending a detention hearing and first appearance. Flagg was served her charges via summons, with a first appearance in Superior Court scheduled for Wednesday, February 6.
Convictions on third-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 3 to 5 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.