A man nicknamed the "con queen of Hollywood" accused of impersonating well-known figures in the entertainment business to defraud others in the industry has appeared in court.
Hargobind Tahilramani (41) is wanted in the US over allegations of conspiracy to commit fraud and identity theft.
According to US authorities, Tahilramani impersonated well-known entertainment industry executives and their representatives for financial gain.
Over a period of up to seven years he allegedly targeted professionals including actors, photographers, writers and security consultants and invited them to Indonesia with the promise of work.
The indictment from the Southern District of California alleged Tahilramani would use false accents and would "alter his voice to sound like a woman" when speaking to victims.
The industry professionals would allegedly be invited to travel to Indonesia to work on fabricated tasks, such as conducting site surveys and writing screenplays for non-existent film projects.
"Tahilramani and his co-conspirators would falsely claim that they wanted to hire them to work on films and other projects purportedly based in Indonesia when in fact no such films or other projects existed," the indictment read.
Tahilramani and the unnamed co-conspirators would promise to reimburse their expenses, taking "exorbitant fees" from the targets, purportedly to cover their costs while overseas, US authorities said.
However, the money was never returned.
Private investigation firm K2 Integrity, which worked with law enforcement agencies on the matter, described him as the "con queen of Hollywood".
He spoke at a brief hearing on Friday, giving his name as his alias Gobind Lal Tahil and confirming his date of birth.
District Judge David Robinson remanded him in custody until another short hearing later this month.