A Manhattan Beach man, Adam Joiner, was arrested and faces federal charges in connection with an alleged fake movie project that cost investors $14 million dollars, according to a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court. The complaint alleges wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Joiner used fake documents and forged signatures to raise millions of dollars from foreign investment firms based in South Korea and China for a project called “Legends,” described in court papers as an anachronistic mash-up of legendary and historical figures such as Davy Crockett, Calamity Jane, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry.  The fake documents included a bogus Netflix distribution agreement.

The FBI’s Complex Financial Crime squad of the Los Angeles Office investigated the matter. Joiner is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 23, according to the U.S attorney’s office.

As the owner of a company called Dark Planet Pictures, LLC, Joiner allegedly showed investors forged documents. The FBI reviewed the company’s bank records and found that more than $5 million of the investors’ money was used to purchase a Manhattan Beach home. 

If convicted, Joiner could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, up to 10 years for money laundering, and a mandatory two years for aggravated identity theft.
Read the press release regarding the Criminal Complaint.

For more information on how investors can protect themselves, read my article: The Hollywood Shuffle: Protecting Film Investors, published in the Vanderbilt Law Journal.