California Man Stole $14M, Told Victims Money Was For Netflix Film

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A Southern California man faces federal wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft charges after he defrauded foreign investors out of $14 million for a bogus film that he claimed Netflix would distribute and major Hollywood heavyweights would produce, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Adam Joiner, 41, allegedly forged signatures on fake documents to convince investment firms in South Korea and China to invest in a fake feature film called “Legends,” which court documents described as “an anachronistic mash-up of legendary and historical figures from nineteenth century America, such as Davy Crockett, Calamity Jane, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry.”

Prosecutors say Joiner, who operated a company called Dark Planet Pictures, LLC, met a director from Korea Investment Global Contents Fund, a South Korean investment fund with assets are managed by Korean Investment Partners Co., Ltd. (KIP), in 2015.

He gave the director a script for the purported film and KIP pledged $8 million to the project. The first half of the investment was wired to Joiner’s company in April 2016 after Joiner gave the director a fake distribution agreement with the forged signature of a Netflix executive on it.

When the FBI approached the unnamed executive, he claimed he had never heard of “Legends” and didn’t know who Joiner was.

Joiner used a similar method to scam a Chinese investment firm called Star Century Pictures Co., Ltd. and a related company called PGA Yungpark Capital Ltd., acquiring $6 million from that deal, prosecutors said.

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