‘Rebecca’ Backer in Plea Talks in Fraud Case, U.S. SaysPatricia Hurtado
Mark Hotton, who is charged with inventing bogus investors to bilk producers of the Broadway show “Rebecca: The Musical,” is in plea negotiations, according to a federal prosecutor.
“The defendant and government are engaged in active discussions regarding a disposition,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Diskant told U.S. District Judge John Koeltl at a hearing today in Manhattan federal court. The judge granted a delay until March 29 to let the parties discuss an outcome “short of trial.”
Hotton, a former Oppenheimer & Co. broker from West Islip, New York, is accused of defrauding the producers of the musical by leading them to believe he had secured $4.5 million from overseas investors for supplemental funding to meet a shortfall. Under an agreement with the producers, Hotton was paid more than $33,000 in fees and commissions from March to June 2012.
After producers pressed him and his purported investors to send the money they had pledged, Hotton allegedly orchestrated the false illness, hospitalization and untimely death of one investor. When it became clear that funding from Hotton’s bogus backers would fall through, he tried to set up a $1 million loan and lure the producers into paying him an additional $35,000 fee for brokering it, prosecutors said.
Ira London, a lawyer for Hotton, declined to comment when asked if his client was in plea talks with the U.S.
The case is U.S. v. Hotton, 12-2686, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).