(CN) – Filmmaker Roger Corman and his wife fired their children from the family production company for asking too many questions about trust accounts, the couple’s adult children claim in Los Angeles Superior Court. Corman directed the original, 1960 version of “Little Shop of Horrors,” along with a slew of films that earned him the nickname “King of the Bs.”
Plaintiffs Roger Martin Corman and Brian Corman say they spent 11 years working as vice president of marketing (Roger) and director of operations (Brian) for their parents’ movie company, Concorde-New Horizons.
In 2008, the brothers say, they began to suspect that money was disappearing from the accounts of three trusts in their names: The Pacific Trust, the Tessa Trust and the MG Trust. The brothers say they and their two sisters are the sole beneficiaries of the three irrevocable trusts, for which their parents serve as trustees.
The brothers say it looked like someone was transferring money from the trusts to secret accounts in offshore banks. The brothers say they were also worried that Concorde-New Horizons was making illegal financial transactions that could create “serious tax ramifications.”
Roger M. Corman says he asked his parents at least seven times for an accounting of the trust accounts and an explanation of the Concorde finances. In response, he says his parents cut off trust payments to all four of their children and ignored his requests.
The brothers say their mother has tightened the reins on their 83-year-old father’s freedom to talk with his kids about family finances, even threatening to leave him if he ever talked discussed the trusts without her present.
After that, the brothers say, their mother told their attorney she lacked authority to order complete accountings on the three trusts, a claim the brothers call untrue.
As trustee or all three trusts and special trustee of one, the brothers say she has the authority and statutory duty to provide accountings.
Concorde-New Horizons Controller Gita Jamshidi fired all four Corman kids by email in October, explaining only that Concorde was now a charity. The brothers say the family formed The New Education Foundation a year and a half before that, but Concorde remains an active corporation, according to state records.
The brothers claim the firings came in retaliation for their questions. They sued their parents, Concorde-New Horizons, and The New Education Foundation. The brothers are represented by Darren Enenstein and Mark Polland with Enenstein & Saltzman of Santa Monica.