Producer Julio Caro has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $1.5 million from billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Corporate Initiatives Fund.
According to court documents, Caro used his company, Broken Rose Productions, to enter into a limited liability agreement with Yucaipa in early 2005. The resulting LLC, which was called R-Caro Productions, produced several films, including Homie Spumoni, which was distributed by Warner Bros. Entertainment. When Warner Bros. sent distribution proceeds to R-Caro, the money should have gone to Yucaipa, which had provided much of the financing for the film. Instead, “Caro stole these funds and used these funds to pay for his personal expenses, including, but not limited to, his mortgage and car lease payments,” according to the U.S. Justice Dept.
When he pleaded guilty in July, Caro admitted that he stole $1,487,529 from Yucaipa over the course of five years.
“This defendant stole nearly $1.5 million from a trusted business partner,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker. “He then furthered his criminal activity by moving the money across the country, making it more difficult for the partner to recoup its losses.”