The Department of Justice and the FBI unsealed a grand jury indictment against Hargobind Tahilramani, a 41-year-old convicted felon from Indonesia known to his victims and law enforcement as the “Con Queen of Hollywood,” charging him with eight federal crimes including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tahilramani is “highly skilled with accents and voices” and his grift, dating back to 2015, allegedly involves him impersonating such Hollywood power women as Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, former Sony chair Amy Pascal, and Paramount boss Sherry Lansing in order to lure showbiz hopefuls to Indonesia with the promise of work. According to the indictment, he and his confederates would then bilk the industry newbies out of cash for such incidentals as driving and fixing while promising them reimbursement on the backend of imaginary projects.
“Tahilramani and his co-conspirators would falsely claim to be, among others: well-known entertainment industry executives; individuals who worked with the entertainment industry executives; and family members of the entertainment industry executives,” the indictment alleges. “Tahilramani and his co-conspirators would falsely claim that they wanted to hire the entertainment industry professionals to work on films and other projects purportedly based in Indonesia, when in fact, no such films or other projects existed.”
Tahilramani’s unnamed co-conspirators include a driver and a cash collector who both allegedly deposited the marks’ money into “a bank account controlled by Tahilramani.”
After an investigation by the FBI and New York corporate security firm K2 Integrity lasting at least two years, Tahilramani was finally arrested in Manchester, England, on November 27. He was living under the alias Gobind Tahil.
“The defendant has been arrested in the United Kingdom based on a request for his provisional arrest submitted by the United States with a view towards his extradition,” the FBI said in a statement. “We will have no further comment.”
To advance his schemes, the Con Queen didn’t just stick to portraying entertainment industry luminaries to bamboozle his dupes. He also reportedly took on the personas of Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Murdoch; Christine Hearst Schwarzman, the intellectual property lawyer married to Blackstone Group CEO and major Trump supporter Stephen Schwarzman; and billionaire Singapore businesswoman Christina “Queen of Bond Street” Ong.
Authorities stress that Tahilramani isn’t just some colorful rogue on the wrong side of the law, but a man who’s displayed some pretty disturbing proclivities in pursuit of money and to protect his many personas.
The indictment accuses him of threatening to “dismember the entertainment industry professional” or send “pictures of the entertainment industry professional’s children” if they “questioned Tahilramani’s assumed identity or tried to withdraw from an agreement.”