July 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

West Hollywood man sentenced to prison by offering shares in fake movies

Rawitt was sentenced to 63 months of prison for helping bilk investors out of nearly $2 million by offering shares in movies that were never made. (Thinkstock)
Rawitt was sentenced to 63 months of prison for helping bilk investors out of nearly $2 million by offering shares in movies that were never made. (Thinkstock)

A West Hollywood man was sentenced today to 63 months in federal prison for helping bilk investors out of nearly $2 million by offering shares in movies that were never made.

Stuart Rawitt, 47, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.

The judge set an April 20 restitution hearing, and ordered Rawitt immediately taken into custody.

Rawitt, who was charged in the case along with two others last year, pleaded guilty in October to a federal mail fraud charge.

The defendants raised money for a film called “The Smuggler” through a boiler room telemarketing operation in Van Nuys after first representing themselves as researchers.

Victims were falsely told that 64 percent of investor money would be used to produce the film, and that investors would be first in line to receive any revenue.

Prosecutors said Rawitt and his co-defendants — who are awaiting sentencing — falsely claimed to have contracted such actors as John Cusack, Gerard Butler, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Sutherland and Jon Voight to appear in “The Smuggler.”

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