Having lost control of a number of the subsidiaries of his film company, been sued by a major investor therein—the majorest investor of them all, BlackRock, to boot—gotten fired by said film company, and seen his chief patron at said investor fired in turn for, among other things, the unseemly optics of investing roughly 10% of his fund’s assets in a company that cast his daughter in one of its films, William Sadleir looked back and expressed regret at the way the whole thing had gone down. Specifically, his forging of the aforementioned fund manager’s signature on some phony agreements between them.
“I should not have done it,” he said. “It was bad judgment on my part. I know better.”
Forgery is always bad judgment, although that is among the very nicest things you can say about it. “Illegal” is another, harsher and frankly more accurate one. Nor is that epithet applicable only to the forgery, sayeth the authorities.
The regulator alleges that William Sadleir diverted some $25 million from the BlackRock Multi-Sector Income Trust… to a fake company he created./He also used some of the money to buy a Tesla car and a Beverly Hills mansion, and to remodel his home, according to the SEC’s lawsuit….
Mr. Sadleir, according to the SEC, set up a company with a name resembling another actual media investment company and created a fictitious individual working for that company as part of the scheme. In 2016 and 2017, he billed fake invoices requesting that Aviron make payments to the sham company, the SEC said.
In 2019, he forged signatures to release claims on Aviron assets so he could resell them, the SEC said. That July, he created fake agreements between the BlackRock fund and Aviron in which he copied the signatures of the fund’s then-portfolio manager Randy Robertson….
The U.S. government is accusing him of two counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Mr. Sadleir faces up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud and two years in prison for the other charge, according to the department.