PROVIDENCE — A Rhode Islander who co-produced a movie about the biggest mobbed-up heist in Rhode Island, if not the nation, is now accused of a real-life federal crime: swindling $4.2 million from investors in a Las Vegas show about a male stripper.
John A. Santilli Jr., 47, was arrested Tuesday at his home near Greenwich Cove in East Greenwich on a 10-count indictment from an alleged four-year scheme in connection with “Magic Mike Live.”
That stage show at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is based on two “Magic Mike” movies about the life and times of a male stripper. According to a warrant for his arrest from the grand jury for the U.S. District Court in Central California, Santilli used his connection to the show about the stripper to tease out millions from investors.
Santilli managed and partly owned Rhode Island-based Aloris Entertainment, LLC, which acquired an interest – through securities called “Class A Units” – in Mike’s Mobile Detailing, LLC, the Delaware incorporated company that operates the Magic Mike Live show in Las Vegas, according to the indictment.
Santilli raised funds from people by soliciting investments in “Aloris Magic Mike LP,” a different business that he falsely told investors owned the Class A Units, according to the indictment.
Santilli is accused of lying to investors, telling them that, in return for their investment, they would receive “shares” in Aloris Magic Mike LP that corresponded to a particular number of Class A Units and entitled them to a percentage of the profits from “Magic Mike Live.” The indictment alleges that Santilli used a doctored a legal document to make it appear that Aloris Magic Mike LP was a shareholder of Mike’s Mobile Detailing.
The indictment also states that Santilli misappropriated a significant portion of people’s investments, including withdrawing more than $1 million at casinos across the United States. To raise more money, the indictment said, Santilli falsely told his victims that new investment opportunities had arisen, resulting in Santilli selling shares in his businesses that corresponded to nearly double the number of Class A Units of Mike’s Mobile Detailing that his company actually owned.
Santilli was arrested Tuesday on the warrant from California and arraigned at U.S. District Court in Providence on charges of securities fraud, aggravated identity theft, and eight counts of wire fraud. A judge ordered his release on a $100,000 bond.
His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Santilli is listed as a producer and executive producer on multiple films, according to the International Movie Database.
One is “Vault,” a 2019 film based on the 1975 heist of the Bonded Vault in Providence. It was a secret bank used by the New England mafia to store their loot, and a crew of thieves got away with valuables estimated at $32 million.
It was as audacious and extravagant as the robbery of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and one of the biggest heists in the country — especially because not a jewel nor a gold bar has ever been recovered.
And, when the film premiered in Warwick in the summer of 2019, there were actors hobnobbing with retired cops and former criminals, as only would happen for a movie about Rhode Island crime.