South Florida Movie Producer Pleads Guilty to $60M Fraud Scheme

A South Florida film producer pleaded guilty to a scheme to steal more than $60 million from investors in movies and theater performances, authorities said.

Benjamin McConley, 37, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Prosecutors said McConley offered to provide financing to investors and producers seeking funds to produce motion pictures, theater performances, and other projects, telling victims he would match cash contributions and secure financing from financial institutions.

The victims sent McConley tens of millions of dollars, but McConley never matched the contributions and instead worked with co-conspirators to steal the money, transferring the funds to personal and corporate bank accounts, prosecutors said.

McConley and his co-conspirators used the funds to purchase luxury automobiles, personal watercraft, real estate, jewelry, home furnishings, designer clothes, hotel accommodations, and private and commercial air travel, prosecutors said.

McConley faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.

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