Producer avoids jail after spending more than £100,000 on sex shows

National Geographic documentary producer, 55, avoids jail after spending more than £100,000 on online sex shows using a company card

  • Mark Johann Insanally, 55, avoided jail after spending £100,000 on sex shows
  • He used a company credit card to buy the shows while working for Ventureland
  • Insanally, of London, spent more than £108,137 on one debit card, court heard
  • The TV producer was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years

A National Geographic documentary producer has avoided jail after spending more than £100,000 on online sex shows using a company card.

Mark Johann Insanally, 55, who worked with Bear Grylls, previously admitted fraud between October 2019 and November 2020, at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.

Insanally, from London, used a company credit card to access online porn and used the Chaturbate adult website, a hearing at Inner London Crown Court heard on Friday.

Insanally was working for Ventureland at the time, where his job as a producer was to organise the logistics of production which was ‘millions of pounds over budget’, prosecutor Peter Lancaster told the court.

From 2019 onwards, he was working on a documentary film project for the company, where he was ‘entrusted with the credit card’, the judge said. 

When the company accountant became suspicious and asked Insanally, who worked on a National Geographic documentary, for receipts he was told the money was for ‘accessing archive material’, said Mr Lancaster said.

Mark Johann Insanally (pictured), 55, who worked on a National Geographic documentary, has avoided jail after spending more than £100,000 on online sex shows using a company card

The fraud continued and Insanally later said the money was for ‘research in the United States’, Mr Lancaster said.

But when they were spotted again, he confessed to having an addiction to online pornography, particularly adult chat sites, and said he had paid to watch sex shows. 

Insanally spent more than £108,137 on one debit card, the court heard. He left Ventureland in 2020 and the swindle was uncovered as the payments stopped. 

‘I’m deeply remorseful to those who had put their trust in me,’ wrote Insanally in a statement of mitigation.

‘I am embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated that I allowed my abhorrent behaviour to spiral out of control,’ he said. 

A victim impact statement from Ventureland read out in court said the incident had a ‘grave financial impact on the company and damage to the reputation of the company’.

Defence lawyer Kieran Galvin, mitigating, said Insanally has medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, and lives with and cares for his sister.

He said his sister, who is housebound due to a heart condition, moved in with him after the death of his nephew, which had a ‘huge impact’ on the family.

Mr Galvin added that Insanally lost work as a result of the case but has begun reconnecting with the industry again to re-establish himself. 

Prior to these criminal proceedings, Insanally had a yearly income in the region of £100,000, but is currently unemployed. 

Holby City actor Jeremy Sheffield, who previously worked with him, gave Insanally a character reference statement, which was read out to the court by Mr Galvin.

It said: ‘I cannot speak more highly than anyone of Johann. I would trust him with my life, he is a precious friend, generous spirit and a gentle soul.’

Insanally (pictured with his lawyer) spent more than £108,137 on one debit card, the court heard. He left Ventureland in 2020 and the swindle was uncovered as the payments stopped

Insanally has started specialist therapy to help him get over his addiction to sex, and to help him come to terms with his homosexuality. 

He was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He has been ordered to undertake 15 days of rehabilitation which the court heard he has already booked.

He has also been ordered to pay back Ventureland £20,000 within 12 months and was also given a curfew with an electronic tag to last until December 26.

Sentencing, Judge Gavin Millar said: ‘You worked, very successfully for the film production and festival sector. You are of previous good character and expressed remorse almost immediately.’

He added: ‘You became addicted to Chaturbate. [The accountant] initially accepted your explanation that the payments were for archive footage he believed employees in America were sourcing.’ 

But the judge accepted that being a man of his ‘generation and background’, he has had ‘no obvious means of or language to be at ease with his sexuality’.

The judge also said that it would be the ‘right thing’ for the industry to give Insanally work again.

‘You have plenty left to give and hopefully the industry will recognise that and you will re-emerge,’ he added.

‘I hope the therapy helps. I hope you come to terms with your sexuality.’ 

Insanally, who appeared in person at the hearing, responded from the dock: ‘Thank you.’ 

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