News & Opinion | July 13, 2018 5:00 am

Hunting Down the Identity of Hollywood’s “Con Queen”

A female fraudster has been wreaking havoc in the entertainment industry for a year.

(James D. Morgan/Contributor)

For more than a year, a cunning con artist has been impersonating some of Hollywood’s most powerful women in entertainment, like Amy Pascal, Kathleen Kennedy, Stacey Snider, and a Homeland director, in order to target insiders with promises of work, then defraud them out of thousands of dollars.

As the global investigation heats up, The Hollywood Reporter obtained exclusive recordings of the savvy imposter. One person who was duped was a 27-year-old freelance documentary photographer. He received an email from who he thought was Amy Pascal about an exciting project to send him overseas. They spoke on the phone and she knew his work intimately. Based on conversations with “Pascal,” the photographer flew to Jakarta to get started. But six months and $65,000 later, he figured out that he had been tricked by one of the most elaborate schemes to ever hit Hollywood. The woman he spoke to was definitely not Pascal, but was instead a sophisticated imposter who took both his money and his time.

This story is one of hundreds of unwitting victims around the world. Three of the producers impersonated have retained the services of a high-end corporate investigations firm, K2 Intelligence, reports The Hollywood Reporter.