By Matthew Brooks
A Los Angeles man convinced investors to give him $14 million to fund a Netflix movie, prosecutors say. There was no movie and Netflix wasn’t involved with the project.
Adam Joiner, 41, appeared in federal court on Tuesday in connection with charges of wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
Joiner allegedly used faked signatures and forged documents to convince investors in China and Korea to give him $14 million.
Prosecutors say he used $5 million of that money to buy a home in a California beach town.
The proposed movie was called “Legends.” He reportedly said it would feature iconic figures of America like Davy Crockett, Calamity Jane, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry.
The alleged fraud started in 2015 with Joiner telling Korean Investment Partners Co., Ltd. (KIP) that he had a movie deal with Netflix.
Joiner showed the investors documents signed by a Netflix executive to prove Joiner had the deal.
FBI agents spoke with the Netflix executive. The unnamed executive told the FBI that he had never heard of Joiner, nor did the executive sign any deal for the proposed movie.
Real producer joined alleged movie
The South Korean investment fund managed by KIP agreed to invest $8 million in Joiner’s movie. The investment fund gave him initially gave him $4 million.
Joiner showed the investors falsified bank documents that showed he could pay them back, prosecutors say.
After making a deal with the Korean firm, Joiner went to a Chinese investment group to sell the same story, prosecutors say.
The Chinese investment group wired $6 million to Joiner.
With millions of dollars from the two investment groups, Joiner then claimed he had a deal with “well known Hollywood figures” to participate in the movie.
A producer of multiple “Transformer” movies, Don Murphy, joined the project. Murphy terminated his contract with Joiner in mid-2017.
If convicted, Joiner could face 32 years in prison.