Sleazier-Than-Usual TV Producer Pleads Guilty To Fraud And Tax Evasion

You may recall the story of Joseph Medawar, the "producer" arrested by the feds in September who swindled millions from churchgoing widow-types, promising them a piece of the Hollywood dream—in this case, a TV series about the Department of Homeland Security called DHS. Even as he managed to convince prominent politicians to give it their seal of approval—mostly through the help of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, who accepted $23,000 to "write the script"—the show never existed, nor would it ever exist. Medawar instead redirected the money towards maintaining his very Prada-clad, meet-you-at-Morton's lifestyle. The LAT now reports Rohrabacher announced he will be returning his screenwriting fee, moments before Medawar delivered a guilty plea:

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will return $23,000 he received for a screenplay option from a Hollywood producer who pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding dozens of people into investing in a bogus television series about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The decision by the Huntington Beach Republican was announced by his press secretary shortly before producer Joseph Medawar acknowledged in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that he had bilked about 50 investors of roughly $3.4 million from May 2003 to last September. [...]

Outside court, [Medawar's] attorney, Jeffrey Rutherford, said, "Mr. Medawar has acknowledged and taken responsibility for his own conduct, has committed to pay full restitution to each of the victims and has agreed to help the government in its investigation of this and other crimes."

We're not sure what Medawar's plan is for coming up with the money to repay his scam victims, especially considering that he's looking at up to 10 years behind bars when he's sentenced in August. Still, if The Sopranos taught us anything this season, it's how much you can get done while incarcerated. We'd discourage politicians and individual investors from falling for any fast-talking, shady types encouraging them to "get in on the ground floor" of yet another "White House-endorsed, primetime network television opportunity," NGBP: National Guard Border Patrol.