Italian Movie Man Accused of Fraud

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Italian movie producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori made off with a $13 million judgment in favor of his two Hollywood production companies – money that’s owed to creditors of the $1 billion bankruptcy of his Cecchi Gori Group Fin.Ma.Vi. (FINMAVI) in Italy, a liquidator claims.
     Gori was charged in Italy with criminal fraud for transferring millions of dollars to duck creditors in “one of the largest bankruptcies in Italian history,” the three plaintiffs say in Superior Court.
     Plaintiff Nous S.r.l. is a real estate company formerly owned by Gori; the two co-liquidators are acting on behalf of Italian prosecutors, according to the complaint.
     Nous claims Gori misappropriated the $13 million in damages through his companies Cecchi Gori Pictures (CGP) and Cecchi Gori USA (CGUSA) after a successful counterclaim against Gianni Nunnari and Hollywood Gang Productions. Nous asked for, and was granted an order to identify the assets it claimed to be owed.
     “Nous, authorized by the Court of Rome to liquidate its assets in favor of its creditors, is the rightful owner of CGP, CGUSA and any assets they obtain by way of the state court judgment, and seeks this court’s enforcement of the Italian order awarding Nous the recovery of the proceeds of the judgment to prevent Cecchi Gori from further lining his pockets with assets that belong to the creditors of his failed and mismanaged businesses,” according to the complaint.
     Nous claims that Gori ran the Cecchi Gori Group into the ground, raiding millions of dollars and siphoning assets into his other businesses to duck creditors.
     The liquidators estimate that Gori squirreled away $56.6 million: $8.6 million to Nous, $2.2 million to CGP and $45.8 million to CGUSA.
     “As a result of Cecchi Gori’s fraudulent acts, FINMAVI was declared bankrupt and ordered into liquidation, owing an astonishing debt of over $927 million to its creditors,” the complaint states.
     Gori allegedly told the Roman court that assets from the two production companies were unrecoverable. But Nous says that’s “untrue,” citing future revenue from the company’s movies, which include “300” and “Seven.”
     The Roman court ruled that the production companies are Nous subsidiaries and appointed plaintiff Davide Franco as a co-liquidator. Nous adds that Franco has authorized it to liquidate the Hollywood companies’ assets to help repay back.
     “Cecchi Gori is exercising control over the activities of the CG US entities and has ignored repeated written requests by Nous to cooperate in the identification and payment of assets to the FINMAVI creditors,” the complaint states. “In this manner, Cecchi Gori seeks to flaunt the Italian judgment and prior orders of the court of Rome and to engage in continued bankruptcy fraud to loot the assets of FINMAVI and other entities he controls or controlled to put them beyond the reach of creditors.”
     Cecchi Gori lives in Rome and Los Angeles. He produce “Il Postino,” a tale of Pablo Neruda’s relationship with an illiterate postman, which was nominated for the 1994 Oscar for Best Picture. He also was a senator from the Italian People’s Party.

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