Skip to main content

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.

BlackRock-Scamming Producer Pleads Guilty to Diverting Funds [Bloomberg]

For more of the latest in litigation, regulation, deals and financial services trends, sign up for Finance Docket, a partnership between Breaking Media publications Above the Law and Dealbreaker.

Related

gavel-money-bills-law-legal-litigation-finance-300x221

Turns Out Forging An Investor’s Signature Is More Than Just ‘Bad Judgment’

According to the SEC and Justice Department, it, along with other things, is fraud.

ti

Maybe Don’t Make Crypto Investment Decisions Based On Celebrity Endorsements

Just a thought, unless you’d like your actual money to buy someone else a Ferrari.

ElizabethHolmes

Elizabeth Holmes’ Courtroom Vacation Ends

It was fun while it lasted. Useful, too.

edits

Prosecutors Sorry About Sending Defense Only A First Draft, Would Like To Keep Their Convictions, Please

Sure, the final version was way more damning to the hedge fund managers it helped send to jail, but, like, pretty please?

fbi agents

If Your Ultimate Goal Is Not Going To Jail, Don’t Point A Gun At An F.B.I. Agent

An alleged Ponzi scheme you might be able to talk your way out of. That, not so much.

terrence williams

Who Knew NBA Players Had Such Bad Teeth?

Oh, they don’t and were just (allegedly) ripping off their health insurance plan? Got it.

onecoin

The Only People Dumber Than The Victims Of This Cryptofraud Are Its Alleged Perpetrators

A presumably defrauded Hells Angel wants me to meet him in Switzerland. What, you think I shouldn’t go?

Quit hiding behind the bench. By Phil Roeder (Flickr: Supreme Court of the United States) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Supreme Court: Disgorgement Still A Thing, But Not As Much Of A Thing As SEC Would Like

The real winner here is John Roberts, who made everyone happy. Except Clarence Thomas.