(CN) – An entertainment company says producers persuaded it to invest more than $150,000 in the “Judge Karen’s Court” television program and “enter into multiple meaningless agreements.”
Southfield Village Entertainment sued JKC Productions, 51 MM Films, 2432 Entertainment, and the companies’ owner and manager Robert Johnson in Los Angeles Superior Court for fraud and breach of contract.
Southfield says it “was promised repayment of principal, 10% interest on its initial investment, a realization of profits, equity interest as a member of the contracting limited liability company and Executive Producer credit.”
In September 2010, Southfield entered into a loan with JKC Productions for $100,000, which JKC Productions was to repay by mid-December.
“To avert repayment, Defendants induced SVE to enter into an agreement that would convert the loan into an equity interest in Defendant JKC,” according to the complaint.
Under the terms of the equity agreement, Southfield says it was supposed to receive a 10 percent interest in JKC Productions, and that “interest would not be reduced or diluted in any way without its prior written consent.
Southfield President Jeru Tillman was also supposed to serve as executive producer of the “Judge Karen’s Court” series.
In addition to the initial $100,000 loan, Southfield paid $55,000 “as supplemental consideration” to 2432 Entertainment.
“Defendants required [Southfield] to relinquish all rights under … the Note, Security Agreement, Copyright Mortgage and Guaranty,” the complaint states.
After Southfield’s interests were modified under the equity agreement, JKC Productions “executed a termination agreement” that “denigrated [Southfield’s] Equity Agreement rights,” including its right to recoup 10 percent of its investment, loss of its copyright interest in the “Judge Karen” series and loss of Tillman’s executive producer credit, the complaint says.
Southfield sued for fraud, breach of contract, unfair business practices and breach of fiduciary duty, seeking reimbursement of the full $155,000 investment. It is represented by Donald Lancaster.