We said to expect more arrests in short order from Hollywood, and already, within a matter of a couple of days, our prediction is coming true.
The NPC Show covers the arrests of three producers, most notably: William Saleir, who co-founded Aviron Pictures along with David Dinerstein, the founder of Paramount Classics and a former executive at Miramax. Saleir was arrested Friday on federal fraud charges of using $1.7 million of coronavirus relief funds from the Small Business Administration. But instead of using the money to prop up Aviron Pictures, Saleir, 66, used the money for personal purposes, including paying off his car loan and paying expenses on his wife’s credit cards.
“This film producer allegedly made a series of misrepresentations to a bank and the Small Business Administration to illegally secure taxpayer money that he then used to fund his nearly empty personal bank account,” said U.S Attorney Nick Hanna on Friday in a statement. “The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented to help small businesses stay afloat during the financial crisis, and we will act swiftly against those who abuse the program for their own personal gain.”
Saleir faces four charges carrying a collective maximum statutory penalty of 82 years in federal prison.
At Aviron Pictures, Saleir served as executive producer on six releases over the past three years, including Serenity (2019) starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, and Kidnap (2017) starring Halle Berry.
Also arrested: Adam Donaghey, 39, on suspicion of sexual assault of a minor. Donaghey has produced many films, most notably, A Ghost Story, the 2017 thriller starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. IndieWire ran a June 6 story that quoted a female filmmaker, “The first time I was ever on set I was warned about Adam Donaghey. I was told he was the Harvey Weinstein of Dallas.” Apparently, the charge against him was raised after a woman came forward and said Donaghey abused her when she was 16.
Finally, the NPC Show offers an update on the case against Broadway producer Ben Sprecher, who was arrested in 2019 on child pornography charges. More than 100 electronic files involving child porn were seized at Sprecher’s home. His credits range from Mark Twain Tonight! to A Moon for the Misbegotten, starring Kevin Spacey.
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