[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006, 17:55 GMT
Actress linked to $5.5m 'TV scam'
White House
The White House was said to have backed the series
An actress has appeared in court in the US charged with lying to the FBI over an alleged scam to take $5.5m (3.3m) from investors for a fake TV show.

Alison Heruth, 41, was charged as part of an investigation into Joseph Medawar who said he was producing a show about the Department of Homeland Security.

He is alleged to have told more than 70 investors the show DHS: The Series had the backing of the White House.

Ms Heruth is also charged with failing to report or stop a felony.

She faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

Ms Heruth is on bail and due to return to court in Los Angeles on 6 March.

Under the name Heruth-Waterbury, she appeared in a film opposite Croatian actor Goran Visnjic.

'Overseas deals'

She is alleged to have conducted interviews in which she said she was co-producing and starring in DHS.

Prosecutors say Mr Medawar falsely claimed 26 episodes of the series were in post-production and that overseas deals had been finalised in more than 137 territories.

It is alleged he spent most of the money on cars, homes, jewellery and child care.

He has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and is free on $1m (574,583) bail.

Assistant US attorney David Willingham David said Mr Medawar faced a prison term of up to 449 years if convicted on all counts.

The money laundering indictment stems from allegations he paid a US congressmen $23,000 (13,215) for a movie script he had written.

Southern California congressman Dana Rohrabacher said Mr Medawar convinced him and others he was planning to do the series and a patriotic movie based on his script.

"If he's [Medawar] found guilty, I'll certainly return the money that was raised fraudulently," said Mr Rohrabacher.

Producer accused of $5m 'TV scam'
24 Sep 05 |  Entertainment


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific