The Film's Name Might Have Tipped Her
SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - A woman claims a California man defrauded her of $15 million in what he called a start-up film company, PasoFino Entertainment. She says Eddie Guerra told her he would use her money to make three films, including one called "Screw Whitey."
Nedra Roney McKell sued Guerra and PasoFino in Utah County Court. She claims Guerra told her his projects included films to be called "Venus & Vegas," "For Country," and "Screw Whitey," and that she could become part owner of PasoFino for her money. But she says Guerra spent her money on himself, and put it into stocks, bonds and real estate.
Guerra told her that "he was an award-winning screenwriter and an accomplished actor in the film industry" and gave her "box office reports and projections to convince McKell that Venus & Vegas would be a profitable film," the complaint states.
She claims Guerra told her that after that film - a comedy - was released, he would use her money to produce a film to be called "For Country," and then a third movie, "Screw Whitey."
McKell says she forked over $10 million in 2004 and another $5 million in 2007. Guerra was to use some of her money for production and overhead of "Venus & Vegas," to buy out another member of PasoFino, and to pay Guerra's $15,000 monthly salary, the complaint states. But McKell says Guerra and PasoFino did not use any of her money to produce the films.
"To date, 'Venus & Vegas' has not been released in theaters or directly to DVD. Neither Guerra nor PasoFino have paid any amounts to McKell, as required by the June 2007 agreement," the complaint states.
"To the contrary, Guerra and PasoFino have used McKell's funds to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate."
McKell wants her money back, and treble damages. She is represented by B. Ray Zoll of Sandy, Utah.