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Home / Johnathan Lee Smith

Reality TV CEO sentenced to prison for $2 million fraud scheme

The CEO of two Hollywood production companies that specialize in reality television programming was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in federal prison for obtaining a $2 million business loan using fabricated documents and by lying about his companies’ financial circumstances.

Jonathan Lee Smith, 41, of West Hollywood, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of the loan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He pleaded guilty last year to a single federal wire fraud charge.

Smith managed and owned two production companies, Hoplite Entertainment Inc. and Hoplite Inc. To convince a private lender to fund the $2 million loan, Smith falsely said that his two companies had accounts receivable of $3,348,000, and he submitted falsified license agreements and other forgeries to back up the claim, according to his plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court.

To convince the lender to give him additional time to repay the loan, Smith falsely stated that payment was imminent and he also emailed a fake record showing a $100,000 wire payment from Hoplite Inc. to the lender.

In reality, the loan was never repaid.

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