Creditors attempting to force David Bergstein's companies into bankruptcy (updated)
Fourteen creditors have filed an emergency motion attempting to force five companies controlled by embattled film financier David Bergstein and partner Ron Tutor into Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a trustee overseeing their assets.
The filings made in U.S. bankruptcy court in Los Angeles on Wednesday accuse Bergstein, who has had a troubled history in Hollywood and been involved in numerous lawsuits, of financial mismanagement and alleges that he has "demonstrated repeatedly that he is unfit and incompetent."
Bergstein could not immediately be reached for comment.
The filings claim that a trustee must be appointed immediately to protect the remaining value of Bergstein's assets on behalf of the creditors, who are owed about $11.4 million in total.
"The alleged debtors and their affiliates are spinning wildly out of control and there is an immediate risk that assets will be dissipated, records destroyed or lost, and cash diverted unless a qualified trustee can be appointed immediately," the creditors stated.
An attorney for Screen Capital International Corp., one of the creditors that filed the case, said an emergency hearing to consider the petition to appoint a trustee on an interim basis will be held March 30.
Along with several businesses and individuals, the creditors who filed the petitions include two unions: the Writers Guild of America, West and the Studio Transportation Drivers Local.
Among Bergstein and Tutor's five companies being challenged with involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy are independent distributor ThinkFilm.
Update, 5:45 p.m.: "This filing is a farce," said Bergstein, who claimed yesterday's actions are part of a larger legal dispute with one of the creditors. "We don’t believe that it’s going to stick. It’s deficient."
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: David Bergstein. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.