LOS ANGELES (CN) - A printing company claims that Theodore Forstmann, head of the PR giant International Management Group, used the company as a front to conceal his "secret escapades," and as a "betting conduit," through which he wagered $7 million on sporting events, including betting for or against IMG clients Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Vijay Singh. A spokesman for Forstmann told an entertainment website that the allegations are "beyond false, they are preposterous."
Jim Agate, owner of Agate Printing, sued IMG and Forstmann in Superior Court. In his amended complaint, Agate claims that Forstmann backed out of oral agreements to pay Agate's taxes on the bets.
Agate claims that Forstmann strung him along for years with promises of high-paying printing contracts and other work in exchange for his bet-making services, but ultimately refused to pay.
"Agate served as a betting conduit - especially as it related to Forstmann's aggressive betting on and against athletes represented by IMG and events owned and controlled by IMG," the complaint states.
"Forstmann agreed, as part of the consideration to AP [Agate Printing], and because Forstmann was concealing his gambling and writing off his losses and even, on occasion, his escort fees ... that Forstmann would personally indemnify AP and hold harmless AP from any tax liability arising from the many hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks and wire transfers Forstmann and IMG made to AP bank accounts in order to cover Forstmann's gambling losses and excessive spending on social escorts and other 'service vendors'," according to the complaint.
Agate claims that Forstmann "needed AP to be his 'front' so that his secret escapades would be concealed and his false image and legacy as a law-abiding philanthropist would be maintained."
Agate adds that Forstmann had "animosity towards" Tiger Woods, and "made comments about Woods and other African Americans whom he labeled as 'schwartzas' that lead Agate to believe that Forstmann was a racist."
(Schwartzas is Yiddish for black.)
"Although Forstmann had previously made derogative comments about blacks, Jewish people, and other minorities, and he treated his employees, waiters, service providers, and everyone around him with disdain and arrogance, Forstmann singled out Woods as someone who he wanted to see fail," according to the complaint.
He says that "Forstmann bet several times against IMG client Tiger Woods when he was competing with Vijay Singh, a 'so-called' close personal friend of Forstmann, as well as a client of IMG."
Agate says a $40,000 bet Forstmann placed through Agate Printing on Roger Federer in a 2007 tennis final against Rafael Nadal was based on inside information, and that Forstmann "substantially increased the size of his wager the night before the final match."
"Agate's apprehension in coordinating the large Federer bet was compounded, based on the fact that he believed this wager might be breaching ethical or legal standards due to the fact that Roger Federer was a client of IMG, and IMG had an existing relationship with both the athlete and the sporting event," according to the complaint.
"Adding to Agate's concern was the fact that Agate admitted receiving inside information from Federer personally."
A spokesman for Forstmann told the entertainment gossip website TMZ that the allegations were "beyond false, they are preposterous."
The statement to TMZ continues: "Mr. Agate filed a similar lawsuit against Ted Forstmann in 2008 in Los Angeles Superior Court. That case was dismissed.
"In an April 2009 letter, Mr. Agate admitted concocting lies and spreading false information about Mr. Forstmann. 'I deeply regret falsely attacking your character and falsely describing your activities to many people. I apologize for all my erratic and harassing emails,' he wrote Mr. Forstmann," according to the posting on TMZ. It continues: "As his financial condition worsened, his memory apparently failed. The result is this so-called lawsuit, which is filled with specious lies and which we are confident will be promptly dismissed.
"Unfortunately, people like Mr. Agate look at people like Mr. Forstmann as the lottery. Because of his wealth and success, people like him are, unfortunately, a target for someone like Mr. Agate."
The statement adds that Forstmann has adopted two African children, says that he "has never spoken to agents or clients about the outcome of sporting events," and that "It defies logic and common sense to suggest that Mr. Forstmann would do anything other than to support the career of Mr. Woods."
Agate sued Forstmann, IMG and several Forstmann affiliates, alleging breach of contract, fraud and interference with business relationships. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He is represented by Philip Kramer.
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