(CN) – A man claims Mel Gibson induced him to invest his life’s savings of $200,000 in a Kuala Lumpur rubber company by promising that he or the company would repurchase the shares at their original price if problems arose – but problems arose and the company and Gibson refused, and the company now “appears to be defunct.”
Nader Sherif, of Las Vegas and Costa Rica, demands $200,000 from Gibson, alleging breach of contract, in Santa Monica Superior Court.
Sherif claims Gibson refused to back up the promises he made when the actor induced him to invest in Green Rubber Global Ltd., a so-called green rubber company that recycles old tires.
Sherif claims he met Gibson in Latin America in March 2007 and Gibson told him the company “was going to be wildly successful and that he should seriously consider investing in it.”
The company – which is not named as a defendant – claimed to have a new technology that devulcanises rubber in tires, to recycle the rubber. Sherif says he “was reluctant to invest his hard earned money in an unknown company he knew little about.”
He says that Gibson assured him “he should put everything he could into the company.” Sherif claims Gibson put him in contact with (nonparty) Vinod Sekhar, president of the Petra Group, the parent company of Green Rubber.
Sherif says he was still skeptical, and that Sekhar told him that the company would repurchase his shares at their original price any time he wished, and that Gibson then took him aside and promised to purchase the shares at the original price, if need be.
Sherif says: “The primary reason that defendant agreed to purchase plaintiff’s shares was to serve his own interests. Mainly, not only did his agreement assure additional capital to a company in which defendant had made his own substantial investment, but it also gave defendant the option to purchase plaintiff’s shares at a below-market price if, as defendant then expected, the shares had increased in value.”
Sherif says he put his life savings of $200,000 into 130,000 shares of Green Rubber, but did not receive a stock certificate or any financial statements from the company, even after “countless requests” over the course of a year.
After texting Gibson that he planned on exercising his put option, and sell the shares, Sherif says Gibson discouraged him, assuring that “the shares were going to be ‘huge’ and poised to ‘really hit in [September].'” (Brackets in complaint.)
Sherif says he has made multiple demands to Gibson and to Green Rubber to purchase his shares as promised, and that Gibson “wholly ignored” his most recent demand.
Sherif wants his $200,000. He is represented by Paul Murphy with Murphy Rosen Meylan & Davitt, of Santa Monica.
(In November 2008, Bruce Willis sued a Malaysian prince, claiming His Royal Highness Prince Imram Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, chairman of co-defendant Petra Group, took him for $900,000 him by claiming that Al Gore and Mel Gibson had invested in the prince’s “green rubber” company too. Willis too claimed that he had been given a put option, to sell his shares, and that the defendants refused to do it. Willis did not sue Gibson.)