Movie Producer Admits to Investment Fraud Scam
A supposed South Florida movie producer is in hot water after admitting that he misused some $60 million of investors’ cash.
Benjamin McConely recently pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud, stemming from a scheme in which he and two others bilked tens of millions of dollars out of investors who thought they were helping McConely make an indie film. Instead, McConely and the others put the money in their own bank accounts and used it for luxury cars, travel, hotels, real estate and jewelry.
The 37 year old pointed to some serious film credits to get investors to buy in. McConely produced indie hit “The Tale,” which starred Laura Dern, in 2018 and a 2016 Emily Dickinson biopic, according to the Miami Herald.
McConely and producer Jason Van Eman claimed they would match investments dollar for dollar and then use the money to get a loan to finance a new movie project. Benjamin Rafael, a former Wells Fargo employee in Miami, used company letterhead to create false documents to assure investors, according to an indictment. That included by claiming that the investments had been “matched.”
Rafael has also pleaded guilty to charges related to his role in the scam. He and McConely are expected to be sentenced next year. Van Eman pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Legal Protections for Investment Fraud Victims
McConely’s scam is an unfortunately common example of the investment schemes that fraudsters of all types push to try to take people’s hard earned money.
The good news is that there are a number of legal tools that you can use to try to get your money back and to make sure that the perpetrators are held responsible for their crimes. That includes by joining a class action. These lawsuits are typically brought by one or a small group of people, seeking to sue on behalf of a wide range of investors who have all been defrauded.
A seasoned investment fraud attorney can help you weigh your rights and options, including whether to lead or participate in a class action.
Speak With an Investment Fraud Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been the subject of securities fraud, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced investment fraud attorney.
At Glancy Prongay & Murray, our investment fraud lawyers have been representing people in securities, consumer and other fraud cases for more than 25 years. Our attorneys recovered $182 million in settlement money for clients in the last year alone.
We have a strong track record of success in these cases. Call us at (310) 201-9150 or contact us online to speak with an investment fraud attorney today.