Producer admits bilking investors with fake Broadway play
NEW YORK — A Broadway producer has admitted scamming his friends and others into investing more than $165,000 in a nonexistent play about opera star Kathleen Battle supposedly starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Roland Scahill pleaded guilty in New York on Wednesday to grand larceny and fraud charges.
As part of the deal, the 42-year-old Scahill is to be sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation. He must repay the investors and receive psychiatric treatment.
Scahill said in court he pretended he had secured the rights to Battle’s life story and had signed a contract with Nyong’o to star in the play. He also falsely claimed Netflix had agreed to film a performance.
The victims were mostly his friends and were targeted between October 2014 and January 2015.