Former accuser of Hollywood director charged with wire fraud

Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:39pm EST
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(Reuters) - A man who had accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexual abuse when he was a teenager but later dropped his lawsuit has been charged with securities and wire fraud for running a fraudulent investment scheme, officials said on Wednesday.

A grand jury in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday indicted Michael Francis Egan III, 32, who is a former resident of that community, for operating the scheme from 2007 to 2012, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins' office said in a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During that time, Egan falsely convinced investors he was a close associate of the chief executive of a major bank and that he owned stakes in famous Las Vegas hotels, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Egan promised people who gave him money he would invest in projects such as Halloween-themed attractions, land development and television shows; instead, he spent the money on his rent, car lease, pet care and living expenses, according to Tompkins' office and the FBI.

Egan will be ordered to appear in court and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of securities fraud and a similar sentence if found guilty of the wire fraud charge against him.

An attorney for Egan could not be reached for comment.

Egan earlier this year filed high-profile civil lawsuits accusing "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and three Hollywood executives of abusing him as a teenager.

But after Singer filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, calling the claims a "sick, twisted shakedown," Egan filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the case against the movie director. Egan's similar lawsuits against three other Hollywood executives were also dismissed.


Michael Egan (R), who sued filmmaker Bryan Singer for allegedly raping him as a teenager, sits next to his mother Bonnie Mound as she speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Los Angeles April 21, 2014.  REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian