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HomeCryptoHollywood Director's Netflix Millions: A Tale of Options, Crypto, and Luxury Spending

Hollywood Director’s Netflix Millions: A Tale of Options, Crypto, and Luxury Spending

In a storyline seemingly lifted from a Hollywood script, director Carl Erik Rinsch reportedly diverted millions of Netflix’s production funds into high-stakes stock options and cryptocurrency trading, according to The New York Times.

Netflix, which had already invested $44 million in Rinsch’s sci-fi series “Conquest,” wired an additional $11 million to his production company in March 2020. Rinsch then allegedly moved $10.5 million of these funds into his personal brokerage account, embarking on a risky investment journey.

His first bet was on biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, anticipating a stock surge due to its development of a COVID-19 antiviral drug. However, Gilead’s stock only achieved modest gains, peaking at $84 in April and not surpassing that until November of the following year.

Rinsch also speculated that the S&P 500 would continue its COVID-induced decline by 30%. Contrary to his expectations, the index quickly rebounded, erasing its losses within months. This miscalculation resulted in Rinsch losing approximately $6 million in just a few weeks.

Undeterred by these setbacks, Rinsch then ventured into the volatile world of cryptocurrencies, transferring over $4 million to the Kraken crypto exchange to purchase dogecoin, the meme-inspired digital token. This move paid off handsomely as dogecoin’s value soared tenfold from April to May 2021. Rinsch’s timely cash-out ballooned his account balance to nearly $27 million.

Rinsch’s newfound wealth fueled lavish expenditures, including luxury clothing, high-end furniture, a Ferrari, five Rolls-Royces, and a Vacheron Constantin watch costing nearly $400,000. According to an analysis by a forensic accountant, Rinsch’s spending spree totaled $8.7 million.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s investment in “Conquest” exceeded $55 million, yet the streaming giant never received a single completed episode. Currently, Netflix is embroiled in confidential arbitration with Rinsch, who claims the company owes him at least $14 million in damages, while Netflix contends it owes him nothing.

In a deposition, Rinsch stated that the luxury cars and furniture were purchased as props for his show using Netflix’s production money. However, during arbitration, he claimed the funds were his, arguing that Netflix was in debt to him.

As this extraordinary saga unfolds, both Netflix and Rinsch have not immediately responded to requests for comment. This case highlights the complexities and potential pitfalls of film financing and production, where the lines between professional and personal use of funds can sometimes blur, leading to contentious legal disputes.

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