A federal judge sentenced a Manhattan Beach man to more than eight years in prison Wednesday, Nov. 10 after he struck a deal with Netflix to pay foreign investors $14 million for a film written by his brother. Admitted to lying about doing. ,
Adam Joiner, 43, of Manhattan Beach, was ordered to pay $14 million in restitution and spend 97 months behind bars after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney officials said in a news release. They signed a Netflix executive and told investors in Asia that the streaming platform had agreed to distribute “Legends”, which are believed to be about American folkloric figures such as Paul Bunyan and John Henry.
“It was a legitimate project; There was a script,” Joiner’s attorney, John Hanuz, said during a brief interview on Wednesday. “But things took a different turn.”
Joiner later said that the film was shelved by Netflix and then picked up by Amblin Entertainment. According to court documents, at some point, he told investors that Guillermo del Toro had verbally agreed to direct the film. But in reality, no actor or director had signed on to be a part of the project.
South Korean firm Korea Investments Global Contents Fund awarded $8 million to Joiner and his company, Dark Planet Pictures LLC, based on their claims. Star Century Pictures Company, based in China, paid another $6 million to back the projected production of “Legends”.
U.S. Attorney officials said more than $4 million was wrongfully transferred to an account controlled by Joiner, and may have been used to develop an unrelated film. He used another $5 million to buy a house in Manhattan Beach.
Joiner had already agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud when he forged attorneys’ signatures for his victims in October 2019, releasing liens placed on a home he bought with their money and Was trying to sell it. As a result, he pleaded guilty to a second count of wire fraud in December 2019.
Authorities have seized more than $5.5 million from accounts belonging to Joiner, of which $4 million has been returned to Korea Investments Global Materials.
“As he expressed in court today, he remains incredibly remorseful for his actions,” Hanuz said.