Jodie Foster's dad charged over scam

2011-11-11 22:07

Los Angeles - Jodie Foster's father could face more than 20 years in prison for a property scam in which he touted his relation to his famous daughter to lure customers to part with money, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Lucius Fisher Foster III, 89, was charged with 17 counts of grand theft and seven of contracting without a license after allegedly cheating investors out of more than $100 000, said Deputy City Attorney Don Cocek.

Foster, who is estranged from his daughter, offered to build homes for 20 alleged victims in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, after contacting them through his own property website or referrals from realtors.

He "told at least half the victims that he is Jodie's father as part of the scam to build up trust", said Cocek.

Each alleged victim gave Foster a deposit of $5 000 and received a contract for their home to be build, "but no house was ever built," said the prosecutor. A pretrial hearing is set for November 17 in the case.

His daughter, star of The Silence of the Lambs, Panic Room and Contact, was not immediately available for comment.