The 89-year-old father of actress Jodie Foster faces 25 years in prison after being convicted of cheating poor and elderly people in a home-building scheme.
Lucius Foster, a Sherman Oaks, Calif., building contractor, collected a total of $130,000 in downpayments from people after promising to build them modular homes out of shipping containers. He was convicted of 21 counts of grand theft and nine counts of contracting without a license – all misdemeanors. He is set to be sentenced today.
"Not one of these homes has ever been built in the city of Los Angeles," Deputy City Attorney Don Cocek told the jury. "It's all a big scam."
He called Foster, who had been soliciting customers since at least 2005, the "Bernie Madoff of Sherman Oaks," according to People magazine.
Foster, who uses a walker and served as his own attorney, argued he intended to build solar-heated three-bedroom, two-bath homes that would cost customers less than $100,000.
The actress, who was born months after her parents divorced, has been estranged from her father.