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UK News 'Con Queen of Hollywood' accused of duping actors with fake film scams is arrested in UK

16:41  04 december  2020
16:41  04 december  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Indonesian man impersonated film executives, including Rupert Murdoch’s former wife Wendi Deng, to swindle victims, FBI alleges.

Dubbed the ' Con Queen of Hollywood ,' the suspect led investigators on a years-long, global 'The defendant has been arrested in the United Kingdom based on a request for his provisional arrest Tahilramani would 'use fake accents and alter his voice to sound like a woman,' the documents state.

A suspected con artist who allegedly impersonated top female Hollywood executives and tricked aspiring stars out of hundreds of thousands of dollars has been arrested in Manchester after a US extradition request.

a sign on the side of Hollywood Sign: The suspect con artist impersonated female Hollywood executives to swindle aspiring actors out of money © Getty The suspect con artist impersonated female Hollywood executives to swindle aspiring actors out of money

Dubbed the "Con Queen of Hollywood", the suspect was identified in court papers on Thursday as Hargobind Tahilramani, a 41-year-old Indonesian man.

The Department of Justice and FBI unsealed the seven-page grand jury indictment, according to entertainment news website The Hollywood Reporter, outlining eight federal charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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The scammer is best known for impersonating powerful female industry executives like former Sony head Amy Pascal and producer Kathleen Kennedy. In the week since the FBI released a website for victims of the " Con Queen of Hollywood ," the scammer , seemingly undeterred, has continued to

The Hollywood Reporter has obtained two separate audio recordings of the woman's voice, which Investigators believe the con artists went to great lengths to conceive of a scam that would escape He ended up getting fired, all right, although his film career didn't end. He went on to become CEO of

It is alleged Tahilramani swindled scores of victims by luring them to Indonesia on the promise of work.

Once there, they were duped into handing over cash for up-front costs and expenses - but the projects never materialised and the money was never reimbursed.

It is also alleged Tahilramani - also known as Gobind Lal Tahil - threatened violence if people questioned his assumed identity.

Amy Pascal wearing a suit and tie: Sony movie chief Amy Pascal is among the Hollywood moguls the Hargobind Tahilramani allegedly impersonated © Getty Sony movie chief Amy Pascal is among the Hollywood moguls the Hargobind Tahilramani allegedly impersonated

He would threaten to "dismember" them or send pictures to them of their children, the indictment alleges.

The series of impersonation scams started in 2015 and continued for five years, even during the coronavirus pandemic. He had also set up shop in the UK by 2016, before he was unmasked last month.

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A sophisticated scammer dubbed the ' Con Queen of Hollywood ' posed as Marvel Executive During the call, the Con Queen tried to pressure Wengrzynek into acting out a sex scene to convince her of his talent. The actor later learned he'd been duped when he contacted a friend to verify the job offer.

on Queen scheme, first reported in 2018 by The Hollywood Reporter, consists of a woman impersonating producers and other executives such as In addition to wanting money, the Con Queen has a history of goading her marks into sexually explicit phone conversations. A new report from The

"The defendant has been arrested in the United Kingdom based on a request for his provisional arrest submitted by the United States with a view towards his extradition," an FBI spokesman in San Diego, California, told AFP.

Among the Hollywood moguls Tahilramani allegedly impersonated were Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, former Sony movie chief Amy Pascal, and ex-Paramount boss Sherry Lansing.

He also claimed to be Wendi Murdoch, the ex-wife of News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, Christine Hearst Schwarzman, the intellectual property lawyer and wife of billionaire Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and prominent Singapore business magnate and so-called "Boss of Bond Street" Christina Ong.

Kathleen Kennedy in a blue shirt: Tahilramani is also alleged to have impersonated Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy © Getty Tahilramani is also alleged to have impersonated Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy

He would "use fake accents and alter his voice to sound like a woman" - the documents state.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tahilramani was arrested by Manchester police last week with the assistance of private investigators.

In a statement to AFP, co-founder Jules Kroll said K2 had helped US, British and Indonesian authorities in "bringing the individual known as the 'Con Queen of Hollywood' to justice".

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