Fort Lauderdale jury finds independent film producer guilty of $60 million fraud

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. – At the height of his career, Jason Van Eman helped fund ‘The Tale,’ a film starring Laura Dern that was a hit at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Investigators said Van Eman, 44, used the realization to help promote a scheme to defraud film and theater producers out of more than $60 million.

A Fort Lauderdale jury found Van Eman of Weathervane Productions guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Oklahoma independent film producer Benjamin Forrest McConley and Benjamin Rafael have spent millions on cars, a watercraft, real estate, jewelry, travel – and movies in which Van Eman was cast .

McConley, of Miami, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in September.

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Rafael, a former Wells Fargo banker, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October 2019. He was sentenced in July to 42 months in prison for participating in the fraud and for concealing his criminal history on applications for COVID-19 relief loans.

Van Eman’s sentencing is at 10 a.m. on July 21, 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal.

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