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Former Hollywood Distribution Exec Accused Of Multi-Million Bank Loan Fraud

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — A recently-ousted Hollywood film executive has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $1.7 million dollars in loans intended to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Department of Justice, William Sadleir, 66, of Beverly Hills, California faces charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements to a financial institution, and false statements to the SBA.

“This defendant allegedly used Paycheck Protection Program loans to pay off his personal credit card debts and other personal expenses, rather than using the funds for legitimate business needs,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “As the department has made clear, those who defraud the PPP to line their own pockets at the expense of the American people will be brought to justice.”

“This film producer allegedly made a series of misrepresentations to a bank and the Small Business Administration to illegally secure taxpayer money that he then used to fund his nearly empty personal bank account,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna of the Central District of California. “The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented to help small businesses stay afloat during the financial crisis, and we will act swiftly against those who abuse the program for their own personal gain.”

According to documents filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Sadleir allegedly obtained over $1.7 million in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program, claiming that the funds would be used to support payroll expenses for three film production and distribution companies.

However, prosecutors allege that Sadleir planned to use the money for personal and non-business-related expenses, including personal credit cards and a car loan.

Prosecutors claim that as soon as the funds were cleared into Sadleir’s account, he transferred more than half to a personal account and began to use or attempt to use the funds to pay off personal credit card debts totaling more than $80,000 and a car loan totaling approximately $40,000, among other personal expenses.

Until 2019, Sadleir served as the president of Aviron Group but he left the company last year after the company was sued by its principal funder BlackRock, who alleged impropriety in the company’s structure and accused Sadleir of fraud and forging documents, according to Deadline.

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