Vermont Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in $28M Movie Investment Fraud Case
The U.S. Attorney’s office filed a plea agreement late last week in the alleged multi-million-dollar “Birth of Innocence” movie investment fraud case, according to a recent press release. Mac Parker, charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of filing a fraudulent tax document, has agreed to plead guilty to both counts. Parker also has agreed to cooperate with the prosecution against his partner in the alleged investment scheme, Louis James Soteriou. Soteriou has been charged with nine counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy, and three counts of money laundering.
According to the charging documents, Soteriou and Parker engaged in a nine-year-long investment scheme to defraud investors out of more than $28 million. While investors believed they were investing in the production of the film, “Birth of Innocence,” the indictment against the men alleges that only a small fraction of the money invested (approximately $700,000) actually went toward production costs. Allegedly, Soteriou took $3.8 million for himself, and the vast majority of the remaining money was used to repay earlier investors.
The charging documents further allege that Soteriou proposed the movie project to Parker around 1999, at which time the men agreed that Parker would be responsible for raising the funds for the project, while Soteriou would retain creative control over the movie’s production. Court documents allege, however, that this partnership was never revealed to potential investors. In fact, the charging documents allege that Parker falsely represented the film project as his alone. Hundreds of people ultimately invested in the project.
Soteriou was arrested in Connecticut on the morning of March 16. An arraignment will take place in Vermont on March 27.