Plea deal for Vt filmmaker in financing controversy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Plea deal for Vt filmmaker in financing controversy

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Vermont storyteller and filmmaker Mac Parker has accepted a plea deal for what prosecutors say was a Ponzi scheme disguised as a movie project.

Prosecutors say Parker and his partner, Louis Soteriou of Connecticut, collected $28 million over a nine-year period for a movie they were making called "The Birth of Innocence." Prosecutors say only about $700,000 went toward making the film. The rest went toward funding Soteriou's "spiritual journey" and paying back earlier investors.

When state authorities first began investigating the movie two years ago, Parker and his supporters claimed they were being persecuted by overzealous regulators.

Now Parker has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax crimes. As part of the deal, he has agreed to testify against Soteriou, who has been indicted on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges.

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