Bilker of Celebrities Gets 5-Year Prison Term
An entertainment industry business manager was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for embezzling more than $700,000 from celebrity clients.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert D. Fratianne imposed the sentence on Harvey J. Glass, 40, of Sherman Oaks, who pleaded no contest last July to the grand theft charges. Glass said he used most of the money to pay for cocaine.
Among his victims were the late television writer Rod Warren, who lost $360,000; film actress Linda Hamilton, who lost $107,000, and television actors Dolph Sweet and Bruce Weitz, each of whom lost $85,000.
Hamilton starred in “The Terminator.” Sweet appears in the situation comedy “Gimme a Break.” Weitz plays Detective Belker on “Hill Street Blues.”
Glass, who offered his clients a complete financial management service, drew checks on clients’ accounts without their permission, the prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty Robert M. Youngdahl, said.
Other Charges Dismissed
Youngdahl said his office agreed to dismiss additional charges that Glass stole lesser sums from entertainer Mort Sahl and attorney Michael Rubel, as long as the judge took their losses into account when sentencing Glass.
“I did this, I think in retrospect, as a means to get help,” Glass told the judge in a plea to be placed on probation.
Glass said he has stopped using cocaine and is active in a group called Cocaine Anonymous. His attorney, David Ellis, said his client is “very, very concerned that the victims in this case do receive their money back.”
Youngdahl noted, however, that Glass has made no restitution, although he has been free on bail and working as an accountant since he was charged in September, 1982.
Representatives of two victims, Warren and Hamilton, testified at the sentencing hearing and asked that Glass be sent to prison. Hamilton’s business manager, Jerry Ward, said Glass’ actions had left victims in “severe emotional and sometimes physical distress.”
Retirement Money Lost
Darla Blake, executor of Warren’s estate, said the 53-year-old writer of television variety specials, who died of a heart attack last October, had lost all the money he had set aside for retirement and had had his life ruined by Glass.
Warren’s accountant told the Probation Department that the Internal Revenue Service was demanding more than $200,000 in taxes, penalties and interest from Warren on income that the writer had earned and that Glass had stolen from him.
Warren had written the Probation Department, noting that publicity about his status as a victim had embarrassed him considerably.
Youngdahl told reporters outside court that the district attorney’s office was aware of other victims but had chosen not to name them in the charges filed against Glass.
“There are other people I cannot tell you about because they don’t want the publicity,” he said. “The people we named are people who allowed us to use their names. The others don’t want to be victims.”