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Jodie Foster's Estranged Father Gets 25 Years for Housing Scheme

Lucius Foster, the 89 year-old estranged father of Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster, was convicted this week for scamming elderly citizens out of $130,000 in a home building scheme. Foster, a building contractor in Sherman Oaks, California, was found guilty of 21 counts of grand theft and nine counts of contracting without a license on Wednesday, all misdemeanors, and sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison on Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Foster collected $5,000 down payments from elderly victims with the promise of building them 2,000 square-foot modular homes from 40-foot long shipping containers from China. None of the homes were ever built, a prosecutor told the jury, because the entire deal was a scam from the beginning. One prosecutor referred to Foster as the "Bernie Madoff of Sherman Oaks."

Foster, who requires a walker to get around, served as his own defense attorney in the case and claimed there was no scam involved. He argued that all he was trying to do was help solve Los Angeles' affordable housing problem by building solar heated, three bedroom, two bath homes for under $100,000. The jury was unconvinced by Foster's arguments and convicted him on all counts.

Lucius Foster and Evelyn Ella, Jodie's mother, were divorced several months before Jodie was born. Evelyn raised Jodie on her own, without Lucius being involved, and Jodie rebuked her father's requests to develop a relationship after she had achieved success and fame.

December 9, 2011

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