Women plead guilty to Tyler Perry movie rights fraud

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say two women have pleaded guilty to taking almost $300,000 from people who thought they were investing in a Tyler Perry movie.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that 50-year-old Sharon Johnson wrote a book and 66-year-old Patricia Sullivan published it.

But to get more attention, authorities say the women started lying that the book’s movie rights to “The Struggle of Love” had been bought by Perry, the famous director, and actor.

Prosecutors say the women took pictures in mansions, forged accounting documents to make it look like Perry bought the rights and bank records to show they had millions of dollars pending.

The women pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday and face up to 20 years in prison when sentenced later.

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