According to the indictment, McConley and Van Eman offered to provide financing to investors and producers seeking funds to produce motion pictures, theater performances, and other projects.
It claimed that McConley and Van Eman promised the victims that, in exchange for the victims' cash contribution, McConley would match the contribution and use the combined funds to secure financing from financial institutions in South Florida and elsewhere.
Victims sent tens of millions of dollars to accounts controlled by McConley and Van Eman based on these allegedly false representation and promises; in truth, the indictment claims, McConley never "matched" the victims' contributions as promised.
Instead, McConley and Van Eman allegedly stole the victims' money by transferring the funds to their personal and corporate bank accounts, often within days of the victims' contributions or loans.
They reportedly spent the money on luxury cars, personal watercraft, real estate, jewelry, designer clothes, hotel rooms and plane tickets.
Rafael's part in the scheme was to deceive victims about the security of their funds, according to prosecutors; McConley and Van Eman are believed to have repeatedly directed Rafael to falsely assure victims that their contributions or loans had been "matched" as promised in the funding agreements.
Although Rafael was fired from Wells Fargo in June 2015, the trio are said to have repeatedly lied to victims by assuring them he was still a bank employee.
During the course of the scheme, the trio created false and fraudulent bank documents, including purported bank letters, forged "proof-of-funds" letters, account signature cards, and deposit account balance summaries, the indictment claims.
Whenever investors got cold feet and asked for their money back, the scam reportedly paid them off with money from new investors, essentially creating a pyramid scheme.
On Wednesday, Rafael switched his plea to guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
McConley previously pled guilty for his involvement and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17.
Van Eman pled not guilty, and is scheduled for trial on February 18, 2020.