As if being the "Emmy-winning producer" responsible for Earthquake in New York and Total Recall 2070 wasn't enough cosmic punishment for a lifetime, mover and shaker Drew Levin now faces prison for charges he inflated his publicly traded company's value in a stock fraud scheme. And despite a corporate bio clean enough to serve a last meal off of, the president of Team Communications was indicted Wednesday on 13 counts that could send him away for 200 years:
Prosecutors said Levin orchestrated a scheme to overstate Team Communications' annual and quarterly revenue to make the company appear profitable, when it was actually losing money. As a result, they said, customers ended up paying inflated distribution fees and Levin profited from the scheme.
Levin received a $335,000 bonus based on the company's reportedly profitable 1999 performance, and he pledged more than 500,000 shares as collateral for a loan to buy a $1.5 million ranch in Big Sky, Mont., prosecutors said.
We imagine a balance sheet that stated a $1.7 million profit in 1999 as a $4.25 million loss two years later — then crashed $42 million deeper in 2002 — was the kind of red flag you can't sneak past most federal investigators. Nevertheless, it's just as likely that a high-powered defense team is hammering out ironclad conspiracy theories as we speak, something along the lines of a concerted government effort to put away the producer of record for landmark dross including Hollywood's Stuntmakers, FX Masters, Superstars of Action, Mysterious Forces Beyond, World's Most Mysterious Places and Laurie Cooks Light and Easy. Indeed, Defamer sympathizes, and in the unfortunate instance of Mr. Levin's conviction or plea deal, we hope his sentence will be reduced to time already served.