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Broadway producer says he was fraud victim

Published: Thursday, Aug. 27 2015 3:40 p.m. MDT

FILE--In this photo from Saturday, Sept. 18, 2006, ensemble members perform during a dress rehearsal for the musical FILE--In this photo from Saturday, Sept. 18, 2006, ensemble members perform during a dress rehearsal for the musical "Rebecca" at Vienna's Raimund Theatre. The play's Broadway production in New York collapsed this week, launching a FBI fraud investigation of the circumstances. (Stephan Tirerenberg, File, Associated Press)

NEW YORK — A producer who had hoped to bring the psychological thriller "Rebecca" to Broadway as a musical now believes the troubled show was the victim of a giant fraud.

The planned New York production was postponed indefinitely this week amid a growing suspicion that one of its primary investors didn't actually exist.

A secretive businessman named Paul Abrams had supposedly pledged $4.5 million to the show, only to suddenly die of malaria.

Now, a lawyer for "Rebecca" producer Ben Sprecher says he believes the mysterious Mr. Abrams was fictitious.

He says someone staged an elaborate ruse with forged documents and bogus correspondence to make Sprecher believe he was dealing with four potential investors in the show, none of whom were real.

The FBI is investigating.

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