LOS ANGELES (CN) – Bob Yari and his companies ducked a $1 million judgment by transferring assets of the production company Syndicate Films, creditors claim in court.
Axis Entertainment, Isaac Michalov and Michael Grayson sued Bob Yari, Yari Film Group, Bob Yari Films, Bob Yari International, Bob Yari Music, William Immerman, Dennis Brown and Devand Holdings in Superior Court, alleging fraudulent transfer, unjust enrichment and unfair competition.
Yari produced “Crash,” which won the best picture Oscar at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
This year the Iranian-American producer lost a seven-year battle with the movie’s director Paul Haggis over his share of profits from “Crash,” when an appeals court affirmed a $12 million judgment.
That award was split four ways between Haggis, “Crash” co-writer and producer Bobby Moresco, producer Mark Harris and star Brendan Fraser.
Michalov and the creditors claim that in May 2010 they secured a $1 million state court judgment against Syndicate Films in Isaac Michalov v Syndicate Films Inc., which Yari appealed. In July 2012, an appeals court affirmed, according to the new complaint.
But Syndicate Films has never paid creditors a penny of the judgment because Yari and others transferred Syndicate assets to their companies to avoid the judgment, Michalov claims.
“The purpose and intent of their transfers was to encumber the assets of Syndicate that there would be no equity from which to satisfy any portion of the Syndicate Films judgment and to place the assets of Syndicate Films beyond the reach of creditors, in particular, plaintiffs,” the complaint states.
Michalov claims that Yari and co-defendants achieved this by, among other things, commingling assets, under-capitalizing Syndicate Films, operating Syndicate as a shell company for the defendants’ businesses, “confusing the books and record of Yari and the corporate defendants” and transferring assets between people and entities.
“The purpose of the fraud was to place the assets of Yari and Syndicate Films beyond the reach of creditors, in particular, plaintiffs and plaintiffs have been unable, despite diligent efforts, to obtain satisfaction of the Syndicate Films judgment,” the 12-page complaint states.
Michalov seeks $1 million in damages, and costs.
The plaintiffs are represented by Marc Smith with Krane & Smith of Encino.
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