A Manhattan Beach man, Adam Joiner, pleaded guilty to a fraud charge and admitted bilking foreign investment groups out of $14 million by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film that Netflix would distribute. He faces 20 years in federal prison. (Doubtful that he will get 20 years)
Here is what he did: Joiner used fake documents and forged signatures to raise millions of dollars from foreign investment firms based in South Korea and China for a movie project he said would be called “Legends.” Joiner operated Dark Planet Pictures, LLC and defrauded Korea Investment Global Contents Fund, a South Korean investment fund whose assets are managed by Korean Investment Partners Co., Ltd. (KIP), which suffered $8 million in losses. Joiner also defrauded a Chinese investment firm called Star Century Pictures Co., Ltd. and a related company called PGA Yungpark Capital Ltd, which invested $6 million into “Legends.”
Joiner lied and told the investors that Netflix had agreed to distribute the picture, a claim Joiner supported with a bogus distribution agreement that contained the forged signature of a Netflix executive. Joiner subsequently told the investors that he had terminated the distribution agreement with Netflix and had secured a new agreement with Amblin Partners, all of which was false.
The FBI reviewed Dark Planet Pictures bank records and found that Jointen bought a Manhattan beach residence and transferred $4.3 million to a bank account that may be linked to another film in development by Joiner.