The Hollywood "Con Queen" Scammer Allegedly Used a Fake Voice to Impersonate Film Execs

Shannon Raphael - Author

Mar. 31 2021, Updated 5:01 p.m. ET

Hargobind Punjabi Tahilramani
Source: Instagram

Phone and internet scams have become increasingly more popular over the years, as con artists look to take advantage of people for their money, their time, or their pride. 

Beginning in 2015, a person began impersonating top Hollywood film executives to lure makeup artists, actors, stuntmen, and others in the industry to Jakarta, Indonesia.

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A female voice would call these people and claim to be someone like Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, entrepreneur Wendi Deng Murdoch, producer Deb Snyder, or former SONY Pictures Chairperson Amy Pascal. The person would promise a lucrative film job as long as the victim could pay their own way to get to Jakarta. 

Source: ABC

Deborah Snyder on 'The Con'

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When the victims would arrive, they'd be in charge of their expenses while awaiting reimbursement, which would often cost thousands of dollars.

Though they would travel to Indonesia in the hopes of working on a big film, most times, nobody would be there to meet them. 

Thousands of people were potentially affected by the Hollywood Con Queen scam. After years of searching for the person behind the con, authorities apprehended Hargobind Punjabi Tahilramani in 2020. 

The Indonesian man had been altering his voice to imitate women, and his story will be featured on the March 31 episode of The Con on ABC. 

Keep reading to find out where he is now, and for more information on what he's been charged with. 

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Where is the Hollywood Con Queen scammer now?

After years of allegedly scamming people, Hargobind Punjabi Tahilramani was arrested in England in November of 2020. 

The 41-year-old is now facing eight charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. At the time when he was apprehended, he was living under a false name: Gobind Tahil.

Source: YouTube
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He had also allegedly continued with the fraud up until about a month before his arrest. Many still struggle to understand why he went on with the scheme for as long as he did, since it wasn't incredibly financially lucrative for him. 

A decision is reportedly pending as to whether or not he will be extradited to the United States.

Tahilramani's trial date has not been publicly shared. 

The Hollywood Con Queen had been arrested before.

Though Tahilramani is originally from Indonesia, he had been living in England as the various schemes were going on. His 2020 arrest wasn't his first run-in with the law, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He had previously lived in the U.S. for two years while he attended college. While he was a student, Tahilramani was named in a lawsuit regarding the misappropriation of school funds. 

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He was later accused of writing false checks in Las Vegas in 2001.

Five years later, he spent several months in prison in Indonesia following an embezzlement arrest. When he was behind bars, Tahilramani managed to get access to a cell phone. This offense later added time on to his sentence. 

His eventual Con Queen plan was in full force by 2015, and he set up a homebase in the U.K. by the following year. 

Source: YouTube

As he was involved in the scam, Tahilramani began a food account called Purebytes on Instagram. He was the face of the channel, and he used a fake American accent while narrating his videos.

He did not use his real name for the account.

The Con airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC. 

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