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Indie Film Scam

(Open on a stuffy and quiet court room. The judge is reading over the charges. He picks up his gavel.)

It looks like 18 people in SoCal and FL are going to be brought up on alleged telemarketing scam charges. Yes, those are federal. So the “until-proven-guilty” parties could be looking at some serious consequences. This is mainly because they solicited over $25 million for a number of independent films.

This whole thing came to surface last week in a Los Angeles federal court. Allegedly, the defendants lied to a number of nationwide investors, promising 1,000 percent returns. One indie film called “From Mexico With Love” allowed Cinamour Entertainment LLC raked in $15 million from about 450 different victims. The film cost only $5 to make and barely earned half that at the box office. The next film, “Eye of the Dolphin” brings indictments for telemarketers from Q Media Assets LLC. Around 9 million was raised for the film and its sequel. The film only made $70,000 and the sequel went straight to video.

Now all the responsible parties are facing conspiracy, mail, and wire fraud charges. If convicted, the conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, the wire and mail fraud charges have a maximum sentence of 20 years, the money laundering counts carry maximum penalties of 10 years, and the sale of unregistered securities has a maximum sentence of five years.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS.