EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – The securities and exchange commission announced fraud charges against three executives linked to Moon River Studios, the failed movie studio in Effingham county. You can access the suit here.
In August 2013 Medient studios breaks ground. Six months later in February 2014, the company’s stock falls below one cent per share. In June 2014, there was a hostile takeover and the name was changed to Moon River. In April of this year, the studios terminated its land plan with Effingham county.
Effingham leaders spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the owners of Moon River studios, hoping to boost their county’s economy. Now the studios are closed and the SEC says all of it was a scam.
Deception to the public and to the federal laws of business exchange sits on the front page of the SEC’s suit against Fonu2 inc., Moon River/Medient studios.
“I thought it was a great use for the land, it was better than a trucking terminal but is seem a little farfetched, too good to be true,” says long time Effingham County neighbor Richard Sapp.
in the three years of planning and prep for development. owners of the studio stuck their claim to change the movie industry in coastal Georgia, but SEC says from 2012 to 2015 no movie was released and no construction ever took place on the site.
“With us living beside it we could see there was nothing being done, no progress with the site so we kind of figured they didn’t have any money,” says Sapp.
The SEC says they definitely did. Through backdating stock shares and shady investment offers the SEC found the original owner was able to spend on average more than seventeen hundred dollars a day over a two month period before he was fired.
We reached out to the man who took his place and eventually closed the entire project and only heard from their voice mail.
Effingham Industrial Development authority terminated the land agreement with the company in April in a statement with News 3 their CEO said the IDA is working with all agencies in the case.
The full statement from the IDA CEO says:
Some of the events and actions surrounding the Moon River/Medient project are certainly unfortunate. The Effingham IDA has moved beyond that project and no longer has any association with any of the members of that project. We have cooperated fully with all agencies involved and will continue to act in good faith in all dealings with the public and industry.
“I don’t think there’s a way of getting your money back from somebody who don’t have it,” says Sapp.
Medient studios Inc. Fonu2 Inc. and their owners named in the suit now could face more than fourteen charges including false statements, fraud, aiding fraud and neglecting financial filings.