MoviePass exec allegedly stole to pay for Coachella party

A former MoviePass government embezzled $260,000 to repay a mortgage he took out for a celebration he organized months earlier on the Coachella music pageant in California, federal prosecutors allege.

Khalid Itum, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of cash laundering, the US Division of Justice mentioned in a assertion. Itum, a Jordanian citizen who lives in Los Angeles, pleaded not responsible and was launched on a $75,000 bond.

In 2017, earlier than becoming a member of MoviePass, Itum created Kaleidoscope Productions LLC and borrowed cash from two people to placed on the get together in the course of the April music pageant in Indio, east of Los Angeles, in response to the indictment. In November 2017, he turned an government at MoviePass, which had been acquired by Helios & Matheson Analytics just a few months earlier. 

To repay the cash he owed for Coachella get together, Itum submitted sham invoices to Helios & Matheson for providers purportedly rendered by Kaleidoscope and a distinct firm he owned, prosecutors mentioned. The corporate paid the invoices, regardless that neither Helios & Matheson nor MoviePass have been concerned within the Coachella occasion, prosecutors mentioned. Itum left the corporate in March 2019.

MoviePass initially gained reputation after launching its subscription plan in August 2017, and inside a yr it reached its membership peak of three million. However working losses led the corporate and its father or mother into chapter 11 by January 2020.

The indictment comes simply months after two former MoviePass executives, Theodore Farnsworth, 60, and J. Mitchell Lowe, 70, have been charged with securities and wire fraud for allegedly defrauding traders. The 2 have been sued by the US Securities and Change Fee over comparable allegations.

Itum’s trial date is about for April 18. If convicted of all fees, he might withstand 20 years in federal jail for every wire fraud depend and as much as 10 years in federal jail for every cash laundering depend.

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