The man who used the name ‘Desilu Studios’ to lure investors hit with a dozen charges – Deadline
A Southern California man who allegedly used the name ‘Desilu Studios’ to lure investors whose money he then squandered on himself was indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles today. Charles Hensley, 68, of Redondo Beach, faces 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated impersonation.
An arraignment in U.S. District Court will take place in the coming weeks.
The alleged scheme has impacted many investors, including some who wired the $331,000 identified in wire fraud accounts. Hensley also allegedly targeted several companies in the entertainment industry. Despite his claims that Desilu Studios was valued at over $11 billion and Migranade at over $50 million, the companies were actually shell companies with little or no assets.
If convicted, Hensley potential faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud. The identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence.
CBS Studios sued Hensley in October 2018 over the matter, alleging he tried to enlist the support of Lucie Arnaz in what he claimed was a relaunch of Desilu Studios was actually trying to use her famous name to “induce unwitting investors” in a shell company. According to that filed in federal court in California (read here), “CBS is informed and believes that Hensley never intended to use the Desilu name for legitimate commercial purposes and, instead, had the intention to use this name in order to induce “investments” in its front companies.
Today’s indictments allege that between August 2017 and May 2018, Hensley successfully initiated investments in companies he owned – including Desilu Studios Inc. and Migranade Inc. – that he operated in from offices in multiple Southern California locations. Despite its claims that Desilu Studios was valued at more than
$11 billion and Migranade over $50 million, the companies were effectively shell companies with little or no assets, according to the indictment.
Hensley began using the Desilu name in 2016 and allegedly said he created new content for his business, according to the indictment, telling investors he was wealthy and supporting his business with his personal funds.
In reality, he had few assets and was overdrawn in bank accounts, according to the indictment.
He further alleges that Hensley misrepresented that Desilu Studios was about to go public and that the company’s shares were worth more than face value and more than investors paid and would increase in value after its IPO in impending scholarship. Prosecutors also say Hensley stole someone’s identity to appear as Desilu Studio’s CFO by donating material.