Independent Producer Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Stealing Money Generated by Film that Should Have Gone to Partner Company
LOS ANGELES – An independent film producer was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for interstate transportation of stolen property related to the theft of nearly $1.5 million that should have gone to his partner in a film production deal.
Julio Caro, 57, of Calabasas, was sentenced today by United States District Judge George H. King for transporting money to New Jersey that had been stolen from an investment company called Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund I, LP.
When he pleaded guilty, Caro admitted that he stole $1,487,529 from Yucaipa over the course of five years
“This defendant stole nearly $1.5 million from a trusted business partner,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “He then furthered his criminal activity by moving the money across the country, making it more difficult for the partner to recoup its losses.”
Caro used his company, Broken Rose Productions, Inc., to enter into a limited liability agreement with Yucaipa in early 2005. The resulting LLC, which was called R-Caro Productions, LLC produced several films, including “Homie Spumoni,” which was distributed by Warner Brothers Entertainment. When Warner Brothers sent distribution proceeds to R-Caro, the money should have gone to Yucaipa, which had provided much of the financing for the film. Instead, “Caro stole these funds and used these funds to pay for his personal expenses, including, but not limited to, his mortgage and car lease payments,” according to the court documents.
The case against Caro was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.