Fox Howls Over Alleged Investment Scam
LOS ANGELES (CN) - 20th Century Fox claims in court that a California-based company is trading off its name to defraud investors in an international investment scheme, in the United States and China.
Fox sued the alleged shell company 20th Century Fox Universal Pictures Investment Group and its principal Frederic Debroe, of Rosemead, in Superior Court, alleging trade name infringement and unfair competition.
"Defendants cannot be allowed to continue to cloak their fraud with the legitimacy of the 20th Century Fox trademarks and trade name, nor malign Fox and its affiliated companies by creating the perception of a connection that does not exist," the lawsuit states.
Fox claims that Debroe and other members of the scheme have set up two infringing websites, one in Chinese and one in English, that make use of the famous 20th Century Fox logo.
The studio claims that the websites include a contact address on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, but a contact telephone number for Hollywood, Fla.
The Chinese website includes a contact address for a company called 20 Century Fox Asia Pacific Filmdom Finance Management, in Hong Kong.
"On information and belief, this address does not exist," the lawsuit states.
Fox claims that members of the scheme dupe unwitting investors into making investments by using the 20th Century Fox logo. In one case, an investor was promised a 100 percent return on an investment within 100 days, the studio claims. The scammers allegedly own and run a cinema in Beijing, China called Fox Cinema, which is holding itself out as an affiliate of the studio.
Fox filed similar claims in China and Hong Kong in an effort to bring an end to the scheme.
The studio is represented by Diana Torres of Kirkland & Ellis.