Hollywood fraudster ‘took hundreds by impersonating movie execs’ | Ents & Arts Information

A prolific fraudster accused of impersonating Hollywood movie executives is alleged to have fooled over 300 victims out of a complete of $1m.

Hargobind Tahilramani, 42, is alleged to be the “con Queen of Hollywood” for committing fraud by providing folks within the movie business work that did not exist and tricking them into paying hundreds in bills.

He’s accused of impersonating executives similar to Amy Pascal, the movie producer Megan Ellison, her mom Barbara Boothe, and producers that labored for The Darkish Knight trilogy and Inception director Christopher Nolan in a rip-off that lasted seven years from 2013 to August 2020, Westminster magistrates’ court docket was instructed.

Tahilramani would impersonate Hollywood figures in cellphone calls, emails and textual content messages to lure his victims on a visit to Indonesia paid out of their very own pocket.

Actors, screenwriters and photographers would journey to Jakarta for non-existent tasks and have been charged bills have been by no means repaid repaid.

The fraudster additionally provided sexual favours to at least one sufferer when impersonating billionaire Jean Pritzker.

The 42-year-old was consequentially arrested in November 2020 after an FBI investigation led to a £60-a-night lodge in Manchester.

Tahilramani, who has been based mostly within the UK since 2016, had claimed that he was a “author for Netflix”.

He’s now opposing extradition to the US, the place he would face eight expenses – conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud which every carry a most penalty of 20 years in jail, and 5 counts of aggravated identification theft with a most sentence of two years every.

Joel Smith, a US consultant instructed the court docket: “The defendant would fake to be well-known leisure business executives or their representatives and promised victims non-existent work within the movie business in Indonesia.”

Hargobind Punjabi Tahilramani
Hargobind Punjabi Tahilramani is alleged to have impersonated Hollywood figures in cellphone calls, emails and textual content messages to lure his victims on a visit to Indonesia

“US-based victims have been persuaded to journey to Indonesia at their very own expense, and as soon as there have been persuaded to pay a raft of charges or bills, once more from their very own pocket.”

Victims have been requested to pay pictures prices or permits, and costs for his or her drivers and tour operators all of whom have been co-conspirators.

Mr Smith added: “The monies spent by the sufferer have been obtained by the defendant himself and by no means paid again.

“At its coronary heart, that is an old school advance charges fraud.”

The screenwriter Greg Mandarano is believed to have been tricked out of $80,000. Casey Gray, who labored within the safety business, was propositioned by Tahilramani.

“The defendant, while pretending to be Ms Pritzker, provided sexual favours to Mr Gray, and tried to get him to ship recordings of himself,” Mr Smith stated.

Freelance photographer Will Strathmann allegedly paid close to £40,000 over three journeys between October and November 2017 after being conned by Tahilramani through emails by which he was pretending to be Ms Pascal.

Hargobind Tahilramani, 42, is alleged to be the “con Queen of Hollywood” for impersonating movie business executives

The court docket heard that the fraudster, posing because the producer Thomas Hayslip, requested Dan Considine to ship audition tapes and pay roughly $7,000 for martial arts coaching movies in hopes of touchdown a task in a Nolan movie.

“There are numerous victims not presently topic to the U.S. indictment, together with some UK-based victims however they aren’t presently the topic of any US prosecution,” Mr Smith stated.

Tahilramani was nicknamed the “con Queen of Hollywood” by non-public investigation agency K2 Integrity, which labored with legislation enforcement businesses through the FBI investigation.

The extradition listening to continues.

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