Investor, and FBI, Are Looking for Alleged 'Oz' Remake Crew
LOS ANGELES (CN) - An investor claims in court that Gigapix, which claims to be making a computer-animated version of "The Wizard of Oz," duped him for $700,000 - and the FBI says he's not the only one.
Daniel Zucker sued Gigapix Releasing, OZ3D, Gigapix Studios, and its president David Pritchard, in Superior Court.
The FBI is "seeking victims" of the scam too, the agency said on its website.
In his complaint, Zucker claims the defendants sweet-talked him out of $700,000 by offering him 1.5 percent of the profits. He claims that Pritchard told him he would earn 10 to 20 times the amount of his loan to Gigapix, or more.
So, Zucker says, he loaned the money to Gigapix, which promised to repay him no later than June 29, 2012.
But he hasn't seen dime one, Zucker says.
On its website , the FBI said it is "Seeking Victims in the Matter of Gigapix Studios, Inc. and OZ3D, LLC."
According to the FBI statement: "The Federal Bureau of Investigation at Los Angeles is conducting an investigation involving investments made with Chris Blauvelt and others doing business as Gigapix Studios, Inc. and OZ3D, LLC between 2002 and now.
"Gigapix Studios, Inc. claims to be using investor capital to purchase rights to intellectual property in the entertainment industry, with a focus on family-friendly films, arête films, and reality television. According to its private placement memorandum dated May 17, 2010, Gigapix Studios, Inc. is focusing on high yield industry identifiable segments, such as targeted production of modest budgeted theatrical films and controlling theatrical distribution foremost, in addition to other ventures. They claim that they are in the process of developing, acquiring, and producing several films and other creative concepts.
"OZ3D, LLC claims to be using investor capital to finance and produce the proposed computer generated animation motion picture 'The Wizard of Oz,' and the manager of the entity is Gigapix Studios, Inc. The private placement memorandum for OZ3D, LLC, dated May 5, 2008, stated that the company was trying to raise $20 million for the project.
"In the process of raising money for their offerings, Gigapix Studios, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chris Blauvelt and others have received cease and desist orders from numerous state regulatory agencies, including in Oregon, Alabama, Washington, Colorado, and California."
Zucker seeks restitution and punitive damages for breach of contract, fraud, conversion and securities violations.
He is represented by Peter Bronstein.