Fox Goes After German Lawyer, Claims Fraud in Distribution

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Fox Goes After German Lawyer, Claims Fraud in Distribution

Wed Feb 20, 2008 @ 10:52AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Foxlogo 20th Century Fox is having trouble with a German lawyer who the studio claims created a shell company to bilk it out of millions of dollars.

According to this complaint filed Tuesday by Fox in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Bodo Scriba and his Gemini Film International failed to hand over at least $3 million in revenues after agreeing to distribute the studio's pictures in Russian and Eurasian countries. Fox used Gemini from 2000 until April 2006, but says the company signed its distribution agreement "without ever having the intention of performing its obligations thereunder."

Scriba is Gemini's majority shareholder, and Fox accuses the lawyer of having "a history, pattern and practice of creating mere shell corporations to be used as a conduit for his personal affairs...of using his shell corporations to illegally divert income, revenue and profits...for his own personal gain."

If Scriba has such a checkered history, it's a wonder why Fox didn't do its due diligence in the first place.

The studio is represented by Hogan & Hartson partner Richard Stone.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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