Hollywood Film Executive Pleads Guilty to 1.7 M Covid Relief Fraud

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Hollywood Film Executive Pleads Guilty to 1.7 M Covid Relief Fraud

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A former chief executive of Aviron Pictures has pleaded guilty to two charges involving federal fraud and money laundering. This high position executive has reportedly committed fraud by claiming 1.7 million dollars in Paycheck Protection Program loans, a program processing loans for business workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beverly Hills resident and chief executive, William Sadlier, will enter his plea, on March 15. According to the US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, Sadlier sought CARES Act loans during the peak of the epidemic, claiming that he would use the money to directly finance his company, Aviron Pictures. Instead, it was reported that the money was used for personal expenses and credit card payments.

In addition, Sadlier has already pled guilty to another New York federal fraud case involving the embezzlement of more than $25 million dollars from the Aviron company.

Apart from the federal fraud case in New York, Sadlier sought loans in California that illegally requested adequate payment to sustain payroll expenditures for 33 workers. This agreement was established through three Aviron subsidiary businesses that were not operational at that time. 

These loans were accepted, and in a matter of days, Sadlier transferred the funds to his personal checking account. With these funds, Sadlier paid off his utility bills, mortgage expenses, and other leisure items. As clarified by the prosecutors in this case, Sadlier did not utilize the loans to pay employees. 

Sadlier faces a potential maximum term of 50 years in federal prison, which includes his impending sentence in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Sadlier committed to pay full restitution as part of his plea deal. Sadleir's sentencing is expected to be set for May. 

By Emilie Chi



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