MANHATTAN (CN) - Film producer Joseph DiPalma claims a group surreptitiously created a "shadow company" to seize control of the movie "Shannon's Rainbow," and is trying to make distribution deals for it, which he produced and in which he invested $1 million.
According to the federal complaint: "This is a diversity action seeking injunctive relief and damages against Defendants for fraud, conversion, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference with contractual relations arising from and relating to the production and distribution of a feature film entitled 'Shannon's Rainbow' (the 'Film'), which is currently in postproduction being finished and readied for distribution.
"Plaintiffs are the Co-Manager and Members of Shannon's Rainbow, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that controls the rights to production and distribution of the Film.
"Defendants have attempted to seize control of the Film through the ruse of surreptitiously creating a shadow company in Utah entitled, remarkably enough, Shannon's Rainbow, LLC and now are threatening to enter distribution deals immediately for the Film in that Utah company's name, to the detriment of Plaintiffs' rights. That Utah company has no legal relationship of any kind with Shannon's Rainbow, LLC in Delaware. The members of the Delaware company were unaware of Defendants' creation of the Utah entity, never consented to it, and are not members of that entity.
"Defendants' fraudulent conduct already has damaged Plaintiffs and, unless Defendants are enjoined from attempting to exploit the Film under the Utah company's name, Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm."
Joining DiPalma as plaintiffs are Jocelyn Engle, producer and casting director, and Shannon's Rainbow LLC and Supernova Media.
Named as defendants are Shannon's Rainbow LLC, of Utah; Summitworks LLC; Frank Johnson; Kelly Nelson; Charles Morrison; Carmine Lotita; John Mowad; and Lawrence Richert.
Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment, an injunction and damages. They are represented by James O'Brien Jr. with Pryor Cashman.