Monday, October 15, 2012
Federal authorities have charged Mark C. Hotton, the stockbroker who acted as intermediary in the financing of the Broadway flop Rebecca, with criminal fraud. According to the complaint (available at the New York Times website), Hotton invented investors and their interest in the production in order to secure $60,000 from the Broadway producers for his efforts. According to U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara:
As described in the criminal complaint, Mark Hotton perpetrated stranger-than-fiction frauds both on and off Broadway. As part of one alleged scheme, Hotton concocted a cast of characters to invest in a major musical — investors who turned out to be deep-pocketed phantoms. To carry out the alleged fraud, Hotton faked lives, faked companies and even staged a fake death, pretending that one imaginary investor had suddenly died from malaria.
Hotton also allegedly used the same invented investors to defraud a Connecticut real estate company that was looking for financing.