A man who claimed he was making a Netflix movie in Hollywood has been accused of bilking $14 million out of the people he allegedly convinced to foot the bill for the false film.
Manhattan Beach, California, resident Adam Joiner ran a company called Dark Planet Pictures, LLC.
A few years ago, Joiner reportedly decided he wanted to work on a movie project for a 19th Century period piece casting famous Hollywood actors in the roles and gave it the preliminary title of “Legends.”
Don Murphy, a producer who has worked on several films and projects including Natural Born Killers, and two movies in the Transformers franchise, was brought on board by Joiner in the man’s attempt to push forward with his production.
In 2015, Joiner reportedly began searching for funding for his film, and he sought overseas sources for the financial investments.
After allegedly showing production companies in China and Korea a copy of the script, along with a distribution document he claimed was signed by an executive at Netflix, Joiner was said to have collected a total of $14 million in pledges intended for use on his project.
Joiner purportedly continued stringing along his financial funders through 2017 and had allegedly told his financial backers that he decided to move the release of the picture from Netflix to Amblin Partners. Around the same time, Murphy was said to have changed his mind and discontinued his business connection with Joiner.
When Joiner was allegedly unable to show that he was progressing with his production the investors became suspicious. When they reportedly inquired about the situation, Joiner was said to have made excuses in an assumed attempt to continue soliciting their support.
The FBI began investigating the situation, and when they audited Dark Planet Pictures’ banking records they allegedly found that Joiner had purchased a Manhattan Beach residence which cost over $5 million. $4.3 million was reportedly discovered in a different bank account. The money was assumed to be a portion of the finances Joiner had collected from his film investors.
It was additionally alleged that no Hollywood talent or distribution companies had ever agreed to work with Joiner, and he made up the entire tale to procure the money.
This month, Joiner turned himself in for suspicion of federal wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft allegations. If he is convicted of the charges and given the maximum sentence, Joiner could spend up to 30 years behind bars.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.