State of California Sues Movie Producers Over Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by Anonymous, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tearful Witness Testifies in Front of Alleged Ponzi Man

    By Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service, December 15, 2016


    A witness at a preliminary hearing Wednesday testified that she and her late mother lost $315,000 in an alleged $21.5 million Ponzi scam in which a movie director and insurance agent face criminal fraud charges.

    The witness’s elderly mother invested in a little-known movie called “Not Forgotten,” believing the extra money would come in handy as she struggled to stay in her Alhambra home.

    She took the salesman by the hand, looked him in the eye and told him that if the investment went south she could lose her savings.

    He told her investment was safe and the risk was nonexistent, her daughter Maddalena Stodart testified at the hearing for the movie director.

    Los Angeles County prosecutors accuse Dror Soref and insurance agent Michelle Seward of persuading elderly investors to part with their life’s savings to invest in the Simon Baker thriller and a musical called “Twist.”

    Soref and Seward were charged a year ago in a 72-count complaint that includes 56 counts of securities fraud, 15 counts of sale of unregistered securities and one count of device, scheme or artifice to defraud a securities transaction.

    They have pleaded not guilty. If convicted, they each face up to 75 years in state prison.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 3
  2. RightOn Member

  3. RightOn Member

    Is DM the only person that the COS would defend with lawyers?
    Everyone else is on their own? And they get thrown under the bus?
    Is there a case (s) where they have defended anyone else in court with COS's lawyers?

    Or is it just too early and I can't think straight?:confused:
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Quentinanon Member

    Mary Sue Hubbard, Jane Kember, Moe Budlong, and various Information Bureau staff of the U.S. Guardian Office and G.O. Canada.
  5. RightOn Member

    But what would be the latest?
  6. Quentinanon Member

    The latest major legal defense funding.
    More recent minor one is to Denise Miscavige Covington Licciardi Gentile and Tom Brennan in the Kyle Brennan homicide wrongful death lawsuit.
    Tom Brennan "dodged a bullet" thanks to Clearwater PD detective Stephen Bohling. But, Kyle did not.

    • Like Like x 5
  7. RightOn Member

    Did they go to bat for Eastgate too?
    Wonder who or how they decide to help and who they will throw under the bus
    Guess the ones who pose to be the biggest threat to DM?
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Quentinanon Member

    Yes. That was in 2012. I forgot about that one.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Prosecution against Scientologist filmmakers falls apart

    By Tony Ortega, March 18, 2017


    Last November we laid out the very serious criminal charges that were facing a filmmaker and a former insurance executive who had met in Scientology and then had financed a movie together that had badly flopped. Film director Dror Soref and his insurer on the project, Michelle Seward, were accused of using a Ponzi scheme to raise $21.5 million for the 2009 Simon Baker film, Not Forgotten, that took in only $142,055 at the box office. At that time, the two were facing 75 years each in prison as a preliminary hearing was about to get under way.

    But now, as explained in an excellent Courthouse News piece by Matt Reynolds, all charges have been dropped against Soref after Seward worked out a deal to provide testimony against him.

    Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor found that prosecutors had taken too much time to bring charges against Soref, who had spent five months in jail before the trial. According to Reynolds, Soref is now considering filing litigation after his ordeal.

  10. Quentinanon Member

    Looks like they arrested before they had much evidence, but investigated and charged afterwards.
    Recipe for failure and injustice.
    I think the proper sequence is:
    1. Investigate
    2. Charge
    3. Arrest
    4. Try

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