Marbella Entertainment, the "highly regarded" Beverly Hills production company 46-year-old CEO William Scott Spalding founded, claims to have movies in the pipeline titled Closers Only, Journey Through Midnight and Beverly Hills Bottom Feeders.
But, according to law enforcement authorities, Spalding employed the closers-only tactics of a boiler-room scammer to foist a journey through a nightmarish midnight on a Huntington Beach single mom, who the Beverly Hills bottom feeder allegedly took for $280,000.
Huntington Beach Police and U.S. deputy marshals on Tuesday arrested Spalding following an eight-month investigation. He was at his new Irvine home, "living the high life" as authorities put it. New Bentley. New Mercedes. Cigars costing a Benjamin. Stashes of cash.
It was quite a climb back for someone who was convicted in 2008 of scamming 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.
Curious, then, that Spalding managed in April to legally change his name to Jonathan Scott Morgan. Do those who approve such things have no way of knowing that they are changing the name of a wanted man? Police and the feds say it can happen.
But they are too busy sorting out his latest alleged scam to worry about that. Spalding is in federal custody on suspicion of using a fake business to extort money from victims by promising gold in exchange for cash. His lifestyle was so opulent that investigators are reaching out to the public for other potential victims. Call Detective Brad Smith at 714.960.8848 or Sgt. Dale Shields at 714.536.5948 if you've been had.
Spalding allegedly "sold" a Surf City woman gold for $280,000 in March--and then never showed up with the gold, as he promised, "in the immediate future." Then he didn't answer her calls, according to authorities, who say his phone 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.
Spalding's Beverly Hills businesses are the aforementioned Marbella and Gibraltar Capital Group, which authorities now say are as phony as that address he gave the lady.
His bio on the crude website for Marbella, which Spalding claims to have founded "to finance and produce/distribute films in the $5-$15 million dollar range," states he is also CEO of MCLE Services Inc., Source Entertainment Inc. and Diamante Films Inc.
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Spalding says he was educated at the Harvard Business School and Gemological Institute of America. He boasts "22 years experience in venture capital, M & A transactions, Public Equity Financing, Business Development, Production and Distribution of Feature Films." He claims to have "been a founder and/or early stage investor in 7 (seven) production companies that have raised over $200 million in private equity."
"Marbella Entertainment is dedicated to providing the best quality production service utilizing the most recent technology coupled with the most efficient cost effetive [sic] methods," goes the company spiel. "Marbella Entertainment is a highly respected Production Company and our CEO, Scott Spalding has been a key player in the financial and entertainment industries since 1988."
This is a guy who says he can do it all: "business startups, mergers & acquisitions, business development, corporate marketing & strategy, capital structure and reorganization, IPO's, turnarounds, strategic alliances, private and public equity and investment banking."
William Scott Spalding Jonathan Scott Morgan has been an expert at even more than that, if the case being built against him is to be believed.