Film Angel Says He Was Clipped for $11 Million


     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A movie investor who claimed in May that three men had defrauded him of more than $10.9 million has filed another lawsuit, against the defendants’ entertainment lawyer.
     Bill A. Busbice Jr. sued James David Williams, Steven Brown and Gerald Seppala in May, claiming they used the money he gave them to “go on an out-of-control personal spending spree .”
     On Wednesday, Busbice and his companies Olla Productions and Ecibsub filed a federal lawsuit against New York-based attorney Barry Reiss.
     Busbice claims that in April 2013 he invested $500,000 in “Made in America; $6 million in “Letters,” a movie about Mother Teresa; $2.4 million in “Left Behind;” and $2 million in “Angels Sing,” a Christmas movie to star Harry Connick Jr.
     He claims the defendants spent at least $7 million of his money on other things. And he claims that attorney Reiss helped Williams and Brown perpetrate the “massive frauds.”
     At first, Reiss “functioned as a ‘behind the scenes’ actor within and for the conspiracy and assisted his co-conspirators,” Busbice says in the complaint. Reiss “stepped out from behind the curtain in October 2013, and was an active and engaging force” in persuading Busbice to invest, according to the lawsuit.
     In his May lawsuit, Busbice claimed Williams had debited at least $214,000, made a $87,825 payment at a Jaguar dealership, and another $89,394 withdrawal to pay home and boat loans. The self-styled film industry insider spent $37,658 in private school tuition for his child, another $22,354 payment for a time-share, more than $4,000 at Louis Vuitton and more than $5,000 at Neiman Marcus, Busbice claimed.
     He claimed Williams spent tens of thousands of dollars more on vacations, hotels, restaurants and car rentals.
     Busbice seeks more than $10.9 million in damages for violation of federal securities laws, fraud, conspiracy to defraud and other counts.
     He is represented by Thomas Prouty with Troutman Sanders of Irvine.
     Reiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment made after business hours on Thursday.

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