New York man pleads guilty to 'Rebecca' Broadway scam

Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:30pm EDT
 
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By Erin Geiger Smith

(Reuters) - In a case prosecutors called "stranger than fiction," a former New York businessman pleaded guilty on Monday to defrauding the producers of Broadway production "Rebecca - The Musical" by creating an elaborate scheme involving fake overseas investors.

Mark Hotton, 46, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and agreed to forfeit $500,000 and to pay an additional $500,000 to the victims of his schemes.

The guilty plea included a second scheme in which he sought to defraud a Connecticut-based real estate company.

Hotton faces 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 1 by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan.

Hotton's attorney, Ira London, was not immediately available for comment.

"Though his lies and deceits were the stuff of fiction, they caused real harm to his victims," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

Hotton was indicted in November.

A dark, gothic thriller based on a 1938 Daphne du Maurier novel, "Rebecca" had been slated to make its Broadway debut in the fall of 2012 but was postponed because of a shortfall in financing and scandal.   Continued...