Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams says that Hollywood producer William Sadleir’s scamming of BlackRock was “a brazen plot that could be ripped from one of the films he distributed.” Indeed, conning “a New York investment fund of over $30 million using a fake company, fake documents, and even a fake identity” sounds exciting.
In reality, it was a pretty run-of-the-mill, humdrum fraudulent affair, without enough twists and turns to fill a mere Lifetime movie, or even probably one of those low-budget true-crime shows in which the Sadleir story would only be expected to fill perhaps eight minutes. Basically, Sadleir convinced Larry Fink & co. to invest $75 million in his Aviron Group, promising to spend the money buying prepaid media credits alongside advertising agency GroupM Worldwide. A closer look shows that the $25 million actually went to something called GroupM Media Services, and then to buying Sadleir a sweet Tesla Model X and even sweeter Beverly Hills pad.
The home, which has been featured in Architectural Digest several times, is on the market for $16.8 million, with amenities including a pool, a sauna, a steam room and a “man cave” that makes you feel as if you “went to heaven,” according to the listing on Zillow.
Now, it seems, Sadleir will have to make due with somewhat more modest residential arrangements.
The 67-year-old Sadleir pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to two counts of wire fraud and reached a forfeiture agreement with prosecutors… Sadleir, who had been scheduled to go to trial next week, faces as much as 20 years in prison when he is sentenced May 10.
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