William Scott Spalding, the 47-year-old Irvine "gemologist" and "movie producer" who conned a single Huntington Beach mom out of $280,000 in a fake gold investment scam, pleaded guilty to a laundry list of charges today and was promptly sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
He was also ordered to pay restitution and fines totaling $576,000.
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Spalding "sold" his victim $280,000 worth of "gold" in March 2011--and then never showed up with the gold, as he promised, "in the immediate future." Then he didn't answer her calls. His phone line was later disconnected and the address he gave her for his Beverly Hills business was phony.
She called the cops when she tired of getting no response. In August 2011, Huntington Beach Police and U.S. Marshals deputies arrested Spalding at his new Irvine home, where he was "living the high life" as authorities put it at the time. New Bentley. New Mercedes. Cigars costing a Benjamin. Stashes of cash.
In 2008, Spalding scammed Redondo Beach residents out of $300,000 in a sham movie deal. He did 3 1/2 years in the federal pen, and upon release he was supposed to pay restitution to his victims and, of course, commit no more crimes. He didn't keep either bargain and was considered a fugitive. And yet, he was able to legally change his namein 2011 to Jonathan Scott Morgan.
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As we were looking the fellow up at the time of his Irvine arrest, we noticed he was billing himself as the CEO of Marbella Entertainment, a "highly regarded" Beverly Hills production company with titles like Closers Only, Journey Through Midnight and Beverly Hills Bottom Feeders in the pipeline. Closers? (Mid)nightmares? Beverly Hills bottom feeders? Can a movie company make three autobiographical flicks on the same dude?
Spalding copped in Orange County Superior Court today to 13 felony counts of money laundering, three felony counts of grand theft and one felony count of first degree residential burglary, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office statement. He's also noted to have admitted to sentencing enhancement allegations for committing a theft over $100,000, committing an aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, property loss over $200,000, and laundering money exceeding $150,000.
It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with to come up with the $576k.