MIAMI – A 44-year-old former actor and film producer from Bartlesville, Oklahoma has been sentenced to 262 months in prison for his role in a funding scheme that defrauded investors of more than $60 million, The United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida announced.
The defendant, Jason Van Eman, was also ordered to pay some victims more than $9 million.
The verdict came after a federal jury found Van Eman guilty of conspiracy, electronic fraud and money laundering in May.
According to evidence, Van Eman identified himself as a film producer and financier, offering to fund independent feature films, Broadway shows, music festivals, and other productions. Van Eman promised the victims (producers and others seeking financing), that his partner (accomplice named Benjamin McConley) would match any cash the victims received. individuals have contributed to their projects. Then, with the combined initial capital (making the projects more attractive to investors), McConley would apply for and secure funding from financial institutions.
Based on these lies, victims deposited more than $60 million into accounts controlled by the scammers. Contrary to what Van Eman promised the victims, his partner never matched their cash donations or applied for funding. Instead, Van Eman and his accomplices stole money from victims by transferring it to their personal and corporate bank accounts, usually within days of depositing the money. To make the scam more believable, Van Eman and McConley recruited Benjamin Rafael, a banker whose role was to assure victims that their cash contributions matched and that their funds were matched. they are secure – both are not true.
Van Eman, McConley and Rafael used the stolen money to buy luxury cars, personal boats, real estate, jewelry, home furnishings, designer clothing, hotels and top travel. non-private and commercial. Van Eman used some of the stolen cash to finance the films in which he was cast.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John J. Bernardo, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced the verdict handed down by U.S. Judge Raag Singhal out.
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