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California woman owes $3.6 million in movie studio scam

November 16, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California woman has been ordered to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution after admitting that she scammed investors with claims she had Hollywood backing to build a movie studio complex in Northern California.

Carissa Carpenter was sentenced Friday in federal district court in Sacramento to six years and six months in federal prison. The 55-year-old Carpenter, formerly of Malibu, was convicted of mail fraud and lying to a federal agent.

She claimed to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars of her own money in the studio project, and to have support from well-connected people in the entertainment industry.

Prosecutors say in fact the Hollywood figures had little or no involvement in the project. They say she used investors’ money to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

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