Georgia Police: Television Animation Studio was $2.1 Million Ponzi Scheme

Georgia police arrested several television executives and charged them with running a Ponzi scheme that purported to offer investors annual returns of 100%.  Several executives of Bright Ideas Entertainment LLC, a Norcross, Georgia television and film studio, face multiple charges of securities fraud in connection with their efforts to solicit investors by promising that their investments would be fully guaranteed against loss.  According to authorities, approximately thirty investors lost more than $2 million.

William Anthony Hollins, Tene Davis, and Daniel High were arrested last week as the culmination of a year-long investigation of Norcross-based Bright Ideas Entertainment, Inc. ("Bright Ideas").  Billed as the state's largest animation studio, Bright Ideas recently opened its expanded headquarters in Norcross in 2009.  There, the company promised to create 350 new jobs.  From 2009 to 2010, Bright Ideas solicited potential investors to fund the company by promising annual returns of up to 100%.  However, Bright Ideas was unregistered to sell securities through the Georgia Secretary of State, and the purported investment contracts contained deceitful and untrue representations to investors.  Among these misrepresentations was the promise that any investment was guaranteed through the Georgia Film Tax Credit.  In total, investors entrusted over $2 million to Bright Ideas.

A total of 24 charges were filed against both Hollins and High, while Davis faces twelve charges.  According to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, "[i]f anybody is offering you a 100 percent guarantee on your money it should raise a red flag."