A Manhattan Beach man faces charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and money laundering. According to federal prosecutors, the man told would-be investors that he would use their money to produce a feature film. Authorities say the man collected $14M.
Much of the money came from overseas investors. Prosecutors say the man targeted Korean and Chinese investors. The film, which was not an active project, was supposed to feature figures from 19th century United States history. The man told investors that Netflix had agreed to distribute the finished project. He falsified documents and forged signatures to convince investors of the project’s legitimacy.
The man initiated the scam in 2015, when he approached a Korean investment group with a script. He claimed that his brother wrote the film. After the Korean investment group gave the man an initial investment, he approached a Chinese investment group. He used the same forged Netflix distribution agreement to convince the Chinese investors to wire money. He then signed Don Murphy, a well-known Hollywood producer to produce the film. Murphy terminated his involvement with the picture in 2017.
The man then told his investors that he had terminated the distribution agreement with Netflix. Instead, the picture would be distributed by Amblin Partners, owned in part by Steven Spielberg. Amblin Partners denied any involvement in the deal. Investigators say the man used about $5M of the money to purchase a Manhattan Beach home and transferred more than $4M to another of his business ventures. If convicted on all charges, the man could spend 32 years in federal prison.
Manhattan Beach Identity Theft Lawyer
When you face charges related to identity crimes, hire an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in federal criminal defense. He takes cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Identity theft violates both federal and state laws. You can be prosecuted in either or both court systems. That’s why you need the help of an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Robert Helfend has defended thousands of clients in both federal and state courts.
His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible resolution to your case. Don’t settle for inexperience and don’t assume that your best approach in federal court is to plead guilty.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.