Mark Hotton appeared on the high-stakes Broadway theater scene out of nowhere this year, offering to come to the financial rescue of a fledgling Broadway adaptation of the psychological thriller ‘‘Rebecca.’’
Although the musical’s producers had never heard of Hotton, he successfully sold himself as a globe-trotting moneyman with connections to a wealthy Australian named Paul Abrams. That was before Hotton raised suspicions by claiming that Abrams had suddenly dropped dead.
Federal prosecutors charged Hotton on Monday with concocting a tale of phantom investors and an untimely death as imaginative as the classic Alfred Hitchcock film about a man haunted by the memory of his dead first wife.
Hotton, 46, also was charged in two other swindles — one targeting a Connecticut-based real estate company and another that investigators say involved his wife and sister on Long Island. A judge in federal court on Long Island ordered Hotton held without bail Monday.
The government accused Hotton, a former stockbroker who lost his license last year, of creating a web of shell companies it likened to a Ponzi scheme that victimized people across the country to the tune of $15 million.
Hotton’s attorney declined to comment. The planned $12 million production of the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier collapsed this month amid questions about its finances.
Walters to chat up Lohan
Barbara Walters says she will interview Lindsay Lohan next month for ABC’s ‘‘20/20’’ newsmagazine. Walters announced on Monday’s edition of her talk show, ‘‘The View,’’ that the interview will air on Nov. 16. It paves the way for Lohan’s would-be comeback project, ‘‘Liz & Dick,’’ which premieres later that month. The Lifetime biopic stars the 26-year-old actress as screen diva Elizabeth Taylor. It spotlights Taylor’s quarter-century love affair with celebrated leading man Richard Burton, whom she married and divorced twice.
“I have not been on a date in forever . . . Like two years. Haven’t gone to the movies, to dinner. Zero.” - Rihanna, superstar singer, onher non-existent love life to Vogue magazine.