Charges filed against pro­ducer of fake Clint East­wood film

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MATT VOLZ

Mon­tana of­fi­cials have filed fraud and theft charges against a man ac­cused of scam­ming in­vestors into giv­ing him more than US$24,000 to pro­duce a cow­boy doc­u­men­tary he said would be nar­rated by Clint East­wood.

The film is bo­gus and the ac­tor was never con­tacted, state pros­e­cu­tors said. Other prom­ises Matthew McClin­tock made — that PBS would air the film, roy­al­ties would go to breast can­cer re­search and a prom­i­nent his­to­rian would be in­volved — were also false, they said in charg­ing pa­pers filed on Wed­nes­day in Mis­soula.

Deputy Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sioner Lynne Egan dis­cussed the crim­i­nal charges dur­ing a court hear­ing Thurs­day on whether a ban on McClin­tock’s fundrais­ing ef­forts should be kept in place.

McClin­tock used nearly all of the US$24,232 he raised to pay for liv­ing ex­penses, to dine out in restau­rants and to buy per­sonal items, in­clud­ing tires and a cow­boy hat, Egan told Dis­trict Judge Mike Menahan of He­lena.

Just over US$ 200 re­mained when the state froze McClin­tock’s three bank ac­counts, Egan said.

“So he spent US$575 on a hat?” Menahan asked.

“Yes, and he wore it at the last hear­ing,” Egan replied.

McClin­tock did not show up for Thurs­day’s hear­ing and does not have an at­tor­ney. Of­fi­cials with the state au­di­tor’s of­fice said they do not know where he is.

The judge or­dered a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion pro­hibit­ing McClin­tock from so­lic­it­ing any more in­vest­ments.

At a pre­vi­ous hear­ing in June, McClin­tock ac­knowl­edged to The As­so­ci­ated Press that he had never spo­ken with East­wood. But he in­sisted the film was real — though he said he may have dif­fi­culty com­plet­ing it be­cause of on­go­ing health prob­lems.

Seventy in­di­vid­ual in­vestors paid McClin­tock “advertising fees” and nine busi­nesses paid “spon­sor­ship fees” in re­turn for a por­tion of the roy­al­ties and their names in the film’s cred­its. One in­vestor gave McClin­tock US$10,000 and another US$4,850.

McClin­tock told the in­vestors he would give a por­tion of the film’s roy­al­ties to the Western Mon­tana Breast Can­cer Fund, which does not ex­ist.

Be­sides theft and fraud­u­lent prac­tices charges, McClin­tock also faces charges of fail­ure to register as a sales­per­son and fail­ure to register a se­cu­rity. Each of the six charges car­ries a max­i­mum 10-year prison sen­tence if con­victed and a com­bined max­i­mum fine of US$75,000.

McClin­tock is on pro­ba­tion af­ter plead­ing guilty in 2010 in a money-rais­ing scam in south­west­ern Mon­tana. He was pre­vi­ously con­victed of fraud and ob­tain­ing money by false pre­tenses in Ok­la­homa.

AP

In this April 22 file photo, film­maker Clint East­wood poses for a photo op be­fore “The Leg­end of Cin­ema Lun­cheon: A Salute to Clint East­wood,” dur­ing Cine­maCon 2015 at Cae­sars Palace, in Las Ve­gas.

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