Stockbroker in Broadway scam admits other crimes

A former stockbroker already facing prison after admitting he conned the Broadway producers of a failed production of “Rebecca” pleaded guilty on Tuesday to money laundering charges stemming from a separate investigation on Long Island, prosecutors said.

Mark Hotton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip to conspiring to launder the illicit proceeds of almost two decades of fraudulent activity stemming from his work as a stockbroker, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Federal prosecutors said in court filings that between January 1995 and October 2012, Hotton ran a series of securities fraud schemes, mail fraud schemes and other crimes. Hotton faces up to 20 years in prison and agreed to forfeit $1.8 million and pay $5.75 million in restitution to his victims as part of the plea agreement.

Hotton, 47, also laundered proceeds of his frauds to pay employees in cash so he could avoid paying federal withholding taxes, authorities said.

“Mark Hotton was a stockbroker who earned a substantial income, but that wasn’t enough for him,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “For almost two decades, he was the star of his own drama, cheating investors, partners and his own employees to prop up the fairy tale of his success.”

On Monday, Hotton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to fraud charges, admitting he conned the “Rebecca” producers.

Hotton admitted he scammed the producers of tens of thousands of dollars with promises to raise $4 million to save the adaptation of the psychological thriller. He also admitted cheating a Connecticut real estate firm of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last two years.

Hotton faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison in that case, according to the terms of a plea agreement he signed with federal prosecutors a couple of weeks ago.

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