A former film producer has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for orchestrating a $60 million movie financing fraud scheme in South Florida, authorities said Tuesday.
Benjamin McConley, 39, had pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
An indictment said McConley and his partner, Jason Van Eman, claimed to be film producers and financiers. Investigators say they offered to match contributions from other investors to produce movies, plays and other projects but actually stole the money.
Prosecutors say Benjamin Rafael, a former Wells Fargo employee, helped to deceive the victims about the security of their funds.
McConley spent the money he stole from the victims on luxury automobiles, personal watercraft, real estate, stocks, jewelry, home furnishings, designer clothes, hotel accommodations, and private and commercial air travel, prosecutors said.
Rafael previously pled guilty and was sentenced to a combined 42 months’ imprisonment for his involvement in the scheme, as well as another case involving Paycheck Protection Program loans he obtained through fraud, authorities said.
Van Eman is scheduled for trial in March of 2022.
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