Former stockbroker Mark Hotton was sentenced to 34 months in prison Friday in part for defrauding producers of the Broadway show “Rebecca: The Musical” out of more than $60,000 in fees and commissions.
Mr. Hotton, 48 years old, pleaded guilty in July 2013 to two counts of wire fraud, one for defrauding the musical’s producers and another for defrauding a Connecticut-based real-estate firm.
Mr. Hotton allegedly promised producers that he had secured $4.5 million in funding for their show from a group of fictitious overseas investors.
The producers of “Rebecca: the Musical” were forced to postpone the show’s November 2012 opening because Mr. Hotton’s fabricated investors never came through. In addition to the prison term, Mr. Hotton must pay $68,000 in restitution, as well as forfeit $500,000 in fines.
Mr. Hotton’s attorney, Ira London, declined to comment after the sentencing.
Mr. Hotton received payments from the show’s producers for lining up fictitious investors, who had names such as “ Paul Abrams ” of Hawthorne, East Victoria. Later, the money failed to materialize for a variety of reasons; one investor, Mr. Hotton said, contracted malaria while on safari in Africa and died.
The show, which was based on the 1938 thriller novel “Rebecca” by English author Daphne du Maurier, opened in Vienna in 2006 but has struggled to find funding here.
Ben Sprecher, the show’s producer, attended the sentencing and said the musical is planning a fall 2015 opening.
He added that he came to court because, “He did a terrible thing. I needed to look him in the eyes.”
The second charge, in which Mr. Hotton defrauded a Connecticut real-estate firm out of more than $200,000, relied upon a similar ruse and included some of the same fictitious names.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said of the West Islip resident, “Mark Hotton scripted not one, but two intricate and multifaceted schemes to bilk his victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”