$260,000 Fund Embezzled by Businessman for Coachella Festival in Los Angeles

A former corporate executive has been found guilty of embezzling $260,000 from his company to fund an event he organized at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, according to federal prosecutors.

Khalid Itum, 43, held a position as an executive at MoviePass Inc. from 2017 to 2019, as stated in the indictment filed against him. The company gained attention for its unique approach of offering unlimited movie theater access for a fixed monthly fee, but unfortunately, its business model proved to be unsuccessful.

Itum was found guilty Thursday of two counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. However, he was acquitted of two counts of money laundering.

Itum and his production and marketing company, Kaleidoscope Productions LLC, secured funding to organize a promotional event at the 2017 Coachella festival. MoviePass had no involvement, but Itum submitted “sham invoices” to its parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics (HMNY), in order to repay the lenders.

No details of the event held by Itum’s company at Coachella are provided in either the indictment or the verdict announcement from prosecutors.

“In order to hide the fraudulent scheme, defendant Itum deceitfully informed HMNY’s independent auditor that Kaleidoscope had been utilized as a payment method for MoviePass expenses during Coachella 2018,” states the indictment. “Through the fraudulent scheme detailed earlier, Itum caused HMNY to suffer losses totaling around $260,000.”

Itum, a resident of Hollywood, is set to be sentenced on April 29 in federal court in Los Angeles. The attorney mentioned in court records was unavailable for comment on Friday.

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