“Hunting the Con Queen of Hollywood”

Wild story:

For more than a year, some of the most powerful women in entertainment — including Amy Pascal, Kathleen Kennedy, Stacey Snider and a ‘Homeland’ director — have been impersonated by a cunning thief who targets insiders with promises of work, then bilks them out of thousands of dollars. The Hollywood Reporter has obtained exclusive audio recordings of the savvy imposter as victims come forward and a global investigation heats up.

He was a freelance documentary photographer, 27 and eager, but not inexperienced. He’d worked in conflict zones for several prestige newspapers and magazines and shot ad campaigns for corporate clients. One day in late 2017, he opened his email to find an unusual message. The first thing he noticed was the sender’s name: Amy Pascal, the former co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment. That kind of thing didn’t happen every day. […]

Six months and $65,000 later, the photographer, who has requested anonymity out of concern for his safety, has come to understand that he was duped by one of the most elaborate scams to ever hit Hollywood. The woman he’d spoken to several times a day for weeks on end wasn’t Pascal, but a sophisticated imposter who took him for a colossal financial and emotional ride.

[Facepalm]

For the past two and a half years, hundreds of unwitting victims around the world have been ensnared by a small but cunning criminal organization whose contours are only beginning to be understood. […]

At the center of the organization is the impersonator — a woman whose sophisti­cated research, skill with accents and deft psychological and emotional manipulation have earned her the begrudging respect of her victims and trackers. […]

In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars he forfeited, the photographer struggles to wrap his head around the fact that she toyed with him so aggressively long after his funds were depleted, after she had gotten everything she would ever get, when it was simply a game she appeared to enjoy. “At what point does a crazy evil genius say, ‘I’ve got enough out of this person, let’s move on to someone else?'”

What we have here, is a Grade A psychopath.

Listen to those audio recordings, they are really spooky. It will be interesting to find out who this woman is, if we ever do. I wonder if it bothers her that she will never be a celebrity unless she gets caught.

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