Women plead guilty to Tyler Perry movie rights fraud
Posted January 12
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Federal prosecutors say two women have pleaded guilty to taking almost $300,000 from people who thought they were investing in a Tyler Perry movie.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbia, South Carolina, said in a news release that 50-year-old Sharon Johnson wrote a book and 66-year-old Patricia Sullivan published it.
To gain more attention, authorities say the women started lying that movie rights to the book, "The Struggle of Love," had been bought by the famed director and actor.
Prosecutors say the women took pictures in mansions, forged accounting documents to make it look like Perry bought the rights and forged bank records to show they had millions of dollars pending.
The women pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday and face up to 20 years in prison when sentenced later.