CEO of Reality TV Production Companies Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison for Defrauding Private Lender Out of $2 Million

The CEO of two Hollywood production companies that specialize in reality-television programming was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining a $2 million business loan using fabricated documents and by misrepresenting his companies’ financial circumstances, according to a DOJ press release. Jonathan Lee Smith was also ordered to pay $2 million in restitution. Smith managed and owned two production companies, Hoplite Entertainment Inc. and Hoplite Inc. Smith falsely represented that his companies had accounts receivable of $3,348,000. He also submitted falsified license agreements and other forgeries in order to convince a private lender to fund a $2 million loan in 2020. In an attempt to convince the lender to give him additional time to repay the loan, Smith claimed that payment was imminent, emailing a false record showing a $100,000 wire payment. The loan, however, was never repaid. Smith filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief in March of 2021.

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