Scammer Accused Of Swindling Investors Out Of $24K For Fake Clint Eastwood Cowboy Documentary

When you think of Clint Eastwood, he of the flinty-eyed gaze and chiseled jawline, you probably think about the Wild West, the wide open prairie and the cowboys who range there. Which is exactly what one scammer was counting on when he allegedly swindled $24,000 out of investors in Montana for a cowboy flick that he said would be narrated by Eastwood himself.

Montana officials have filed fraud and theft charges against the man, accusing him of taking people’s money to produce a cowboy documentary that was never real, reports the Associated Press. Eastwood was never contacted, prosecutors say.

Other bogus claims he made in getting money included that PBS would air the movie, a prominent historian would be involved and royalties would go to breast cancer research. All false, according to charging papers filed in Wednesday.

Seventy individual investors paid him “advertising fees” and nine businesses forked over “sponsorship fees,” in return for a portion of the royalties and their names in the film’s credits.

Officials say he used almost all of the $24,232 he received to pay for living expenses, eating out at restaurants and buying personal items, like a cowboy hat.

“So he spent $575 on a hat?” the judge asked during a court hearing Thursday on whether a ban on his fundraising efforts should be kept in place.

“Yes, and he wore it at the last hearing,” Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan replied.

He’s also facing charges of failure to register as a salesperson and failure to register a security.

Charges filed against producer of fake Clint Eastwood film [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.