Investors Beware of Movie Investment Opportunities
Samuel Braslau, Rand Jay Chortkoff, and Stuart Rawitt defrauded investors by encouraging them to invest in a movie project that involved well known movie stars and purported to generate substantial investment returns, according to allegations in a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Braslau organized Mutual Entertainment LLC and Film Shoot LLC to solicit funds from investors for a movie project, according to the SEC. Mutual Entertainment spent $25,000 to purchase the rights to Marcel, an unpublished story set in Paris during World War II, and shortly thereafter, Mutual Entertainment began raising money from investors through a boiler room operation that Chortkoff operated out of Van Nuys, California, according to the complaint.
Chortkoff organized an effort for “surveyors” or “fronters” to cold call prospective investors from lead lists that were purchased from brokers, according to the complaint. Braslau and Chortkoff prepared a script the fronters used in the telephone solicitations of potential investors, according to the SEC.
The fronters started off their phone calls stating they were “conducting marketing surveys for film and entertainment companies that are looking at current investor trends” and the fronters would then ask the person if he or she was a qualified and accredited investor and, if so, whether he or she wanted to “opt in” to hear more about and opportunity available to get in with a production company seeking qualified investors”, according to the complaint.
Rawitt misled investors via telephone and in person that actors such as Sean Bean, Donald Sutherland, Tim Roth, and Jean-Claude Van Damme would appear in the movie, according to the SEC. These actors never agreed to participate in the film.
Almost every investor dollar was diverted to Braslau, Chortkoff, and Rawitt and to their cohorts, either as sales commissions or purported “consulting” fees, or otherwise spent on the facilitation of the offerings, according to the complaint.
The Peiffer Wolf securities attorneys often represent investors who lose money as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct. They are currently investigating the possibility of assisting victims with the recovery of their losses. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.
Investors who believe they lost money as a result of investment fraud or misconduct may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Wolf, Jason Kane or Joe Peiffer, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 585-310-5140.