A Hollywood producer has been charged with convincing investors to put $5.5 million (GBP3.1 million) into a non-existent TV series he said had the backing of US President George W Bush.

SLEEPWALKERS film-maker JOSEPH MEDAWAR, 43, is accused of telling around 70 investors he was making a TV series called DHS - about the US Department Of Homeland Security - with the approval of the president.

According to prosecutors, Medawar, who was arrested on Friday (23SEP05), shared most of he money between himself and associate ALISON HERUTH-WATERBURY, who he was billed to star in DHS.

Medawar has been charged with mail fraud, relating to documents given to the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), and obstruction of justice.