Hollywood executive sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for fraud

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A Hollywood executive who spent millions on stolen investments in a seven-room Beverly Hills mansion and a new Tesla was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday for defrauding a $30 million New York investment fund.

William Sadleir, 68, pleaded guilty in January to two counts of wire fraud for separate schemes. As part of his sentence, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Engelmayer imposed more than $31.5 million in fines and restitution and three years of post-release supervision.

Sadleir, also convicted in March of PPP scheme scam in California, was involved in the independent film studio’s production of Rosamund Pike’s 2018 “A Private War” and other films. He served as Special Assistant and Director of Presidential Nominations for President Reagan early in his career.

The CEO of Aviron Pictures, between 2015 and 2019, Sadleir sought a $75 million investment from what the federal government described as a publicly traded closed-end investment fund worth $600 million. of dollars. According to a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it was the BlackRock Multi-Sector Income Trust. BlackRock, Inc. is the largest fund manager on Wall Street and the world, managing trillions in assets.

Sadleir said BlackRock’s investment will go towards prepaid media credits with ad placement firm MediaCom Worldwide. In reality, he illegally transferred at least $25 million from the fund to a shell company – including $14 million for a mansion with a “man cave” and a new Tesla.

Sadleir endowed the shell company with a fake wife named Amanda Stevens. He pretended to be “Stevens” – allaying investors’ concerns over email – and when the questions got tough, he pretended she was on maternity leave.

“William Sadleir presented himself as a successful Hollywood mogul, but behind the scenes he engaged in brazen and calculated schemes to defraud a New York investment fund of more than $30 million by using a fake company, fake documents and even a fake identity,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

“Sadleir went so far as to pose as an advertising executive on maternity leave as part of an effort to cover up her crimes.”

Sadleir was also found guilty of engineering the fraudulent sales and refinancing of $3 million into the assets of the same fund. According to court records, this included forging the signature of one of their portfolio managers on the releases. BlackRock sued him in 2019, according to court records.

Sadleir’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

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