WeHo reality TV CEO faces sentencing in $2 million fraud scheme


The CEO of two Hollywood production companies that specialize in reality television programming faces sentencing Thursday for obtaining a $2 million business loan using fabricated documents and by misrepresenting his companies’ financial circumstances.

Jonathan Lee Smith, 41, of West Hollywood, pleaded guilty last year to a single federal wire fraud charge, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Smith managed and owned two production companies, Hoplite Entertainment Inc. and Hoplite Inc. To convince a private lender to fund a $2 million loan, Smith falsely represented that his two companies had accounts receivable of $3,348,000, and he submitted falsified license agreements and other forgeries to back up the claim, according to his plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court.

To convince the private lender to give him additional time to repay the loan, Smith falsely represented that payment was imminent and he also emailed a fake record showing a $100,000 wire payment from Hoplite Inc. to the lender.

In reality, the loan was never repaid. In his plea deal, Smith agreed to pay $2 million in restitution.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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1 year ago

Damnation on/to the WeHo City Council.


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