I *so stupid, hate myself* have been a victim of a scam posing as a short film production, and I want to share the story so the same doesn’t happen to anyone else. I’m out of pocket $3k.
Here is my story:
I was emailed by ‘Martin Tucker’ ([email protected] phone number: 213-374-1777) on Friday August 14th. He asked me to be a production assistant on his upcoming short film called ‘Grateful’ shooting in Los Angeles Sept 9-12. OK, sounds normal enough. He also asked me to work pre-production. He sent me a standard deal memo for production work and I was told I would make $1200 for preproduction. He told me the first check would be for more money so I could start paying to secure what we needed for the film.I received a $4970 check from PRIDGE LLC (1025 Westminster Mall, Westminster CA 92683 from Broadway Bank) on Friday August 21, which I deposited same day. The check cleared.
The following day, I was asked to send 3 money orders (totaling in $2800) to TYLER A KING 1721 EAGLE ST NEW ORLEANS, LA 70118. I was told to send it FedEx overnight shipping for 10:30AM on Sunday, no sig. Tyler was supposedly the camera operator and he was finishing up on a film in Lousiana. Next, I was asked to Venmo Franz Neil Reola @ franz-neil-reola ([email protected], 747-236-4312, Panorama City, CA – Landlord Yolanda). I was told he was the sound guy. I did not send Franz Neil the money because the check bounced out of my account! Thanks Chase Bank – apparently there’s some 7 day grace period?? I had only sent the money order against my best judgment because the check had already cleared in my account and I thought I was doing the right thing. I didn’t want to hold onto money that wasn’t mine. So with fees and fedex, now I’ve been scammed $3000. Franz (who goes by Neil) emailed me back saying he doesn’t know a Martin BUT he told Mr. Rouleau about all of this. He said he’s also a victim of the same scam.
WHO’S Mr. Rouleau?
Then why was I asked to send Franz Neil money? Why won’t Franz Neil answer any more of my questions?
If Franz Neil is telling the truth, is it a ponzi type pay off?
Troy D Williams and Jebyron S Boyd (not Tyler A King) come up as the residents at the Eagle St residence. The house is owned by Samuel Claiborne.
One check was cashed by KAITLYN PERKINS, she is 24 years old and a recent graduate of LSU Alexandria. She listed 1721 Eagle St as her address. Her mother is EUREKA MILLER and her aunt is TROY WILLIAMS.
There is an LLC for Pridge (expired) out of Louisana under YOLANDA B VALLE and ROBERTO N VALLE. The LLC address is 44424 S Coburn Rd. Hammond, LA 70403.
Look, I know. I’m an idiot. Giant, huge, kicking myself, idiot. I’ve cried and heavily stalked for 5 days, and now I’m depleted, jaded and embarrassed.
I just want to share the story as I unpack the mystery. Hopefully I can save one or two people from making the same costly error as myself. Or maybe someone can add pieces to the puzzle of ‘clues’. Martin went above and beyond in his acting skills to make me feel comfortable with the arrangement. He spoke to me in length on the phone and via email. We had physical meetings set up with the production team. The people I was asked to send money to had imdb credits and were easily searchable. He had me sign a very standard deal memo for production work and went over all the COVID guidelines.
Lousiana police said this is the second identical incident they’ve received, and LAPD was all too familiar with these types of cases. I posted it to a filmmaker group and there were a few other identical interactions as well, he didn’t even bother to change his name from Martin Tucker Productions.
Be careful out there. they’re preying on people who are desperate for work after a long COVID hiatus.
I read your story of fraud and I am sorry to say this happened way too often. I’m a private investigator and I have been sharing your story. We need to make sure people like this are exposed and stopped.
Thank you for sharing! This saved me as I was almost suckered into the same scam!
I received an email.just like the one you stated in this post. You saved me from being scammed. I am a Art Production Assistant out of Riverside, CA. Too many red flags for me. I have never worked with this person and somehow they claimed to have received my information of a call sheet. I alway do research before I work with someone such as their IMD credits or info on LinkedIn or name search to see their work. This guy seemed to have pulled info off of either a Republican politician or a famous actor and mixed the two. Plus your article made it all make more sense for me. Here is the email this fake account sent me so no one else is taken for a ride. I am upset you were taken for your works saving. Here is the entire email:Disregard my info. I see your a scanner.
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 6:54 AM, Martins Jack
Greetings, I hope this beautiful day finds you doing well? I received your response to my email thanks for the confirmation of your availability.
I’m a producer. I Write, Shoot, Edit, Repeat Moving Picture Producer, Video Editor, Photographer, Video Artist, Interactive Designer & Illustrator. Also, we specialize in landscape and night-sky photography, motion-controlled time-lapse, and creative DSLR film-making. I also hold private and group workshops and classes, as I love to teach other people how to achieve their creative photographic vision, currently we need some assistance at this time that’s why I need someone who can work with me hand in hand throughout the production period It will take 5 days and it will be shoot in different locations within your area. We are presently working on a short film which I’m directing, although work hasn’t commenced and we should start working on the film in the next couple of weeks The scheduled Start date: November 23rd – 27th 2021 because of thanksgiving on 22nd. Pre-production runs through November 1st – 4th 2021 for the main project preparation.
You will work closely with me and other crew throughout the production process, Duties basically would be as a Production Assistant, you’ll be responsible for the following,
– Undertake errands as assigned
– Assist costume designers, directors, camera people, and other crew members
– Escort actors around the filming area and coordinate extras
– Run pre-production errands
Your present job doesn’t affect the status of the job because I need you to run pre-production. I need someone who can perform his or her duties resourcefully and be proactive in dealing with problems and queries, All I need you to do is to complete all tasks promptly. I am being thorough and explanatory here because I have hired people in the past who did not live up to expectations and this time, I do not want to make the same mistake. Here I want to see how you would demonstrate your skills and how exceptional you are and how efficient and on time you will be. I will need you to perform a couple of tasks for me during this coming week, which is part of the basic duties you will be performing before the project fully starts. I will be setting up a meeting with you once I am done with this shooting I am presently working on. After Successful completion of pre-production then will proceed for an interview for the upcoming projects and wage for the pre-production period will be $1200 and full production payment is($1800) and bonuses for the upcoming projects will be discussed during the interview. If the above works with you, I will take all necessary steps and make a financial adviser send a payment for these purchases and tasks, mailed to you. The pre-production period runs for a week. If you want to sign up for this, Kindly provide the details below so I can send to you the start date of pre-production duties.
Your Full name ;
Mailing Address ;
City, State, Zip Code :
Mobile Phone Number :
Best time to reach you during pre-production:
Available Position: Production Assistant
Days: 5 days
Weekly Pay: $1800
Total production payment: $3000, $1200 for pre-production and $1800 for main production.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PRE-PRODUCTION.
The financial officer will issue out a paycheck that will be delivered to your mailing address, this includes $1200 your weekly payment for the pre-production period for your assistant, the rest is for warehouse, equipment, and other assignments for the upcoming project will be sent to you due to you will run errands prior our arrival I will get more information to you as soon I have a good deal with vendors, warehouse manager I await your swift response so I can send over production documents and Covid-19 guidelines.
Love and Light, always.
On Tue, 19 Oct 2021 at 13:06, [email protected] wrote:
Dear Martins Jack,
I am available for those dates noted. Please see my attached Resume for your review.
I look forward to your email/phone call.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at … or via email at…
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
On Tue, Oct 19, 2021 at 11:46 AM, Martins Jack
I’m Martins Jack, a producer for Mandeville Films. I saw your profile posted on the film production directory, I want to inform you about an upcoming short film project coming up in your area Titled (Only in the Moonlight) Start date: November 22 – 26 2021 , pay is $1800, I’m in search for effective production assistant reply with your updated resume for more information.
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