Producer Jason Van Eman sentenced to 21 years in prison for $60 million fraud scheme; see why

Producer and former actor Jason Van Eman was sentenced to 21 years in prison for defrauding investors of more than $60 million. The verdict was handed down Thursday by a federal judge in Florida after a jury found Van Eman, 44, guilty of wire fraud and money laundering, court records show. He must also pay more than $9 million in restitution to the victims of his financing scheme.

Prosecutors said Van Eman and co-defendant Benjamin McConley, doing business as Weathervane Productions, offered financing to investors looking to develop independent films, Broadway shows and music festivals, among other projects. According to the DOJ’s allegations, he told his victims that he would pay all the installments and use the principal amount to secure financing from financial institutions.

in 2021 McConley was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The producers of the stage adaptations of Bull Durham and Smokey Joe’s Café also sued UBS Bank for allegedly helping Van Eman commit fraud. The case was dismissed after a judge ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the bank’s Swiss-based parent company.

According to the indictment, Van Eman hired a bank employee to assure defrauded investors that their investments were matched and that their money was safe. When victims demanded their money back, Van Eman blamed the banks’ compliance problems, which led to several civil lawsuits against him. Van Eman continued to defraud investors to fund his legal defense. Prosecutors say he hired an online reputation management company to suppress news of the allegations against him.

Van Eman was recently credited as an executive producer on Assimilate, Camp Cold Brook and The Tale.

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Hubert Gildon

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