Ben Sprecher, ‘Rebecca’ Producer, Explains His Fallen Dream – NYTimes.com
When dealing with business partners and investors, a thorough but speedy check performed by professionals is far better than a cursory Google search as a group of Broadway producers recently found out, according to the New York Times:
in the bizarre case of the derailed musical “Rebecca,” it was the producers who apparently suspended their disbelief. They relied on a stranger, a nattily dressed Long Island stockbroker with no history in theater, to come up with $4.5 million they needed to stage their $12 million show this fall. They continued to believe in him even after the stockbroker, Mark C. Hotton, announced that his lead investor had died, of malaria contracted in Africa, before he could write a $2 million check.
“I don’t think like an F.B.I. agent,” Ben Sprecher, one of the lead producers, said Monday after Mr. Hotton was arrested in what would be perhaps the most audacious fraud ever to sink a Broadway show.
Mr. Sprecher, 58, said he had done a cursory Google search of Mr. Hotton’s name before they first met in February, found that he had worked at a well-known brokerage house and noticed nothing else.