LOS ANGELES (CN) – The license holders of Elvis Presley’s music say a distribution company ducked the $2.7 million copyright infringement judgment against them by hiding their assets in a hastily created new corporation. Elvis Presley Enterprises and songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller say the owners of Passport International Productions created Passport International Entertainment the day after they gave up defending against the 2006 complaint.
Within a month, Passport owner Florence Pugliese falsely “foreclosed” on Passport International Productions’ entire $3.5 million in assets, according to the Superior Court complaint. Pugliese allegedly transferred the $3.5 million to Passport International Entertainment that same day.
One year later, when U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew issued a default judgment, Passport International Productions was a penniless “corporate shell,” the complaint states.
In the judgment, Judge Lew concluded that “the assets of Defendants were transferred to Passport International Entertainment, LLC for the fraudulent purpose of escaping liability,” according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs are represented by K. Luan Tran.