May 29, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Department of Justice Charges Former MoviePass Exec for Embezzling Funds for Coachella Party

Khalid Itum faces up 60 years in federal prison following recent indictment

A former executive at cinema subscription service MoviePass Inc. was recently arrested on a federal grand jury indictment alleging he embezzled approximately $260,000 from MoviePass’ parent company to repay money he borrowed to produce an event at the Coachella music festival. 

According to the Department of Justice announced that Khalid Itum, 42, of Hollywood, was arrested by special agents with the FBI on Tuesday and charged with two counts each of wire fraud and money laundering.

At his arraignment Tuesday afternoon in United States District Court, Itum pleaded not guilty to the charges, and an April 18 trial date was scheduled. He was ordered released on $75,000 bond.

Itum was a MoviePass executive from November 2017 until March 2019. MoviePass was the short lived yet popular New York-based company that charged subscribers a flat monthly fee in exchange for credits they could spend on movie tickets from any theater in MoviePass’s network of participating cinemas. In August 2017, Helios & Matheson Analytics (HMNY), a New York-based data analytics company, acquired MoviePass.

In the spring of 2017, Itum registered Kaleidoscope Productions LLC, a Los Angeles-based company that provided production and marketing services. That year, Itum, through Kaleidoscope, organized a party at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio. Neither MoviePass nor HMNY participated in the Coachella event, according to the indictment returned last Friday by a federal grand jury, 

Prosecutors say Itum borrowed money from two individuals to help fund Kaleidoscope’s costs at Coachella. To repay the borrowed money, Itum later allegedly submitted sham invoices to HMNY for services purportedly rendered by Kaleidoscope and a different company owned by an Itum associate. According to the Department of Justice, Itum allegedly caused HMNY employees to wire money from MoviePass and HMNY accounts to a Kaleidoscope bank account to pay the sham invoices. 

“Itum allegedly concealed his scheme by lying to HMNY’s auditor that Kaleidoscope had been used to pay legitimate MoviePass expenses from the 2018 Coachella festival,” reads a press release from the Department of Justice. 

Itum caused HMNY a total loss of $260,000, according to the indictment.

If convicted of all charges, Itum would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count and up to 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering count.

in Crime, News
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