Ex-Broker Admits to Fraud Tied to ‘Rebecca’ Musical

Mark Hotton, a former Oppenheimer & Co. broker, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and admitted he took part in a scheme to defraud the producers of the Broadway musical “Rebecca.”

Hotton, 47, of West Islip, New York, was accused by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of concocting bogus investors to bilk the show’s producers out of at least $500,000. Prosecutors said Hotton misled the producers into believing he had secured $4.5 million from overseas investors to meet a budget shortfall.

After the producers pressed him and his purported investors to send the money they had pledged, Hotton orchestrated a story of the false illness, hospitalization and untimely death of one investor, prosecutors said. When it became clear that funding from the bogus backers would fall through, Hotton tried to set up a $1 million loan and lure the producers into paying him a $35,000 fee for brokering it, according to prosecutors.

“Some of the fees and expenses I received to raise money for the musical ‘Rebecca’ were paid as a result of false pretenses by me,” Hotton told Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan today.

The judge, who set sentencing for Nov. 1, said that under a plea agreement, Hotton agreed to forfeit $500,000 and could get 33 months to 41 months in prison.

The case is U.S. v. Hotton, 12-cr-00825, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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