Hollywood: the glitz, the glamour, where stars are born every day.
Fresh out of high school, Meili Cady wanted it, badly. She left her small town of Bremington, Wash., with little money and big dreams.
"I grew up ... watching the actors on 'Friends,'" Cady said in an interview with "20/20" co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas. "I wanted to do what they were doing."
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Within six months, she burned through her money on acting classes, head shots and basic needs. She was lonely, she said.
Forget Ross and Rachel -- Meili wanted real friends. Someone in her acting class introduced her to a woman named Lisette Lee, who seemed to have it all together.
Cady said Lee told her she was "the Samsung heiress."
"She look[ed] the part, she act[ed] the part," Cady said. "She always seemed to have a lot of money.... She had a Mercedes ... she drove Bentleys."
Lee ran with a crowd befitting an heiress.
"She said that she went to school with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, and she said that she dated Leonardo DiCaprio ... and Channing Tatum."
And that's not all.
"She said that she was an Asian pop star," Cady said. "She said she had No. 1 songs in Korea."
What did Lee see in Cady?
"[She said] she wanted to meet me because she was looking for someone who wasn't jaded by the town," Cady said.
The naïve newcomer and the sophisticated socialite hit it off.
"We sort of had our own private world," Cady said. "We would just hang out at her place and have drinks and stay up late and talk. ... She was someone that was one of the really bright spots in my life when not everything was always that great."
Cady landed some bit parts, but she was far from making it and was barely scraping by when, she said, Lee came to her with a job offer.
"She said, 'I want to hire you as my executive personal assistant,'" Cady recalled. "'I'll pay you in cash, and you'll be working for your best friend. And congratulations -- you pretty much just won the lottery.'"
That jackpot job was to fly with Lee on private jets moving heavy suitcases from Los Angeles to a seedy hotel room in Columbus, Ohio.
What was in those suitcases? And why Columbus? Cady didn't ask -- that was part of the deal, she said.
"I trusted her," Cady said. "We had four years of very close friendship."
Cady said that at the time she thought the suitcases likely contained cash.
"She said that her family was very involved in some casino business. ... To be honest, I knew we weren't selling Girl Scout cookies, you know?"
If lugging mystery suitcases was bizarre, Cady's other task was downright shady: wire money -- forty grand -- through her personal bank account to pay for those lavish private jets.
In her interview Cady claimed she told Lee she was uncomfortable.
"She said, 'You know what? Your job is so easy, I don't know what you're complaining about. ... I would be more than happy to throw a stick down Sunset Boulevard and hit some dumb [girl] who would do it for half the money,'" Cady recalled with a laugh.
Cady was in deep. She wanted a life in the fast lane, and now she had it. The money was intoxicating. But soon it all started to collapse.
During one trip, Cady said, "It smelled like pot on the plane. It was overwhelming."
The aspiring actress from Washington state had become a drug trafficker.