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Man Charged With Fraud in Theater Series

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A North Hollywood man with two previous fraud convictions was charged Friday with untrue and misleading advertising for allegedly promoting plays that he did not intend to stage, including a production of “Death of a Salesman” starring caustic comic Don Rickles.

Kevin Mark Von Feldt, 41, faces a maximum jail sentence of six months and a $2,500 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor, Deputy City Atty. Ellen Pais said.

Von Feldt advertised in a newspaper and distributed flyers promoting a series of plays for the spring and summer of 1991 in the Renaissance Theater in North Hollywood. In addition to “Death of a Salesman,” he promised “The Music Man” starring “WKRP” co-star Gary Sandy or talk show host John Davidson; “Born Yesterday,” starring Claude Akins, and “My Fair Lady” starring Noel Harrison. Ticket prices were $78 to $85.

“Von Feldt had no agreements with any of the actors he was promising,” Pais said.

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Only about 40 tickets were sold before the purported scheme was uncovered, she said.

In 1987, Von Feldt was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading no contest to 10 misdemeanor false advertising charges stemming from two previous schemes.

In 1986, he bilked victims out of fees paid for training as pilots, flight attendants and other flight personnel, promising them jobs with Hawaiian Pacific Airlines, prosecutors said. The same year, he advertised books of tickets to 52 movie classics, including “The Wizard of Oz and “The Blob,” without having rights to the films or any agreements with theaters to show them.


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