By Adam Hetrick
and Kenneth Jones
30 Jul 2013
As previously reported, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office charged Hotton with defrauding Rebecca producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza "by fabricating the prospect of $4.5 million in financing commitments" last fall. He was arrested Oct. 15, 2012.
Hotton, 47, of West Islip, NY, was serving as a middleman between producers and supposed investors of the musical, and was to get more than $60,000 in fees and commissions for the introduction, according to the unsealed complaint. The sudden loss of the money from investors that Hotton allegedly promised resulted in the shutdown of the production, resulting in the loss of at least 100 jobs related to the musical.
Hotton pleaded guilty to two counts of defraud, one involving Rebecca and another separate plot to defraud a Connecticut real estate company. Hotton also faces charges in another, separate money laundering case.
Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; however, it is expected that a sentence of 33-41 months will be recommended. Sentencing is set for Nov. 1.
Outside the courthouse, Hotton's lawyer suggested that his client had more to reveal about the case. "There is a chapter yet to be written in this saga," he said. "When it will be written you will know."
The producers continue their case that the show's former press rep Marc Thibodeau scuttled the Broadway production last fall by scaring off an "angel investor."
It was recently reported the Sprecher now intends to usher Rebecca to Broadway in 2014. Thomas Drozda of VBW, which holds the live rights to the musical, has extended Sprecher's window to January 2014 (possibly as far as December 2014) to raise the capital necessary to produce Rebecca on Broadway.