It must have been a hell of a party.
The US Department of Justice brought an indictment against Khalid Itum, a former executive at subscription ticketing company MoviePass charged with allegedly embezzling a quarter of a million dollars from the company.
The money, the Feds say, went to pay down his debt from a Coachella party.
In 2017, the indictment alleges, Itum created a company called “Kaleidoscope Productions” which later created an event at that year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio. The event was not sponsored by or held on behalf of MoviePass, prosecutors say.
Yahoo Entertainment reported in April 2017 that a “Kaleidoscope Productions and Delta Air Lines” hosted an event called “Lawn Talks” which featured “a casual day of conversation amongst music’s top innovators, pioneers and legends.” Among them were Randy Jackson, Jim Zukin, Noel Lee and Shay Mitchell.
According to the DOJ press release about Itum’s indictment, the executive “borrowed money from two individuals to help fund Kaleidoscope’s costs at Coachella.”
Itum was arrested on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. His attorney told Variety that the event and expenses were legitimate and Itum “looks forward to refuting the government’s inconsistent and misguided allegations in court.”
Prosecutors have been circling around MoviePass since the company careened into bankruptcy in 2019. Two top MoviePass executives were indicted on charges of securities fraud in November 2022; those two executives were also charged by the SEC in September alongside Khalid Itum for making false statements to investors and falsifying books and records. Variety also revealed Itum had pled guilty in a 2010 case with felony theft from a previous employer.