The tinsel in Tinseltown has lost its sparkle for people who have found themselves victims in a fraudulent investment scheme involving Big Sky Motion Pictures. The owners of the film production company are accused of recruiting people to invest in Big Sky movies with little to no risk. Investors were told that popular Hollywood celebrities would star in the movies, but the films were never made. Investors were also promised a huge financial return, which was never realized.
One investor told CBS News she invested $315,000 of her retirement money in Big Sky and was promised $1.5 million in return. The investor said she never received the money promised to her and now she is in risk of foreclosure. It appears the company’s only prominent film is the 2007 movie, What Love Is, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie reportedly grossed $18,000 for one week in 42 theaters.
Big Sky in Court
Fraud is a federal offense handled by State or Federal prosecutors. Per the website of Hofland & Tomsheck, found at www.hoflandlaw.com, “…the prosecutor has the burden of proving…guilt.” Big Sky had been ordered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge in March 2008, to cease-and-desist its solicitations of investments from California residents. Apparently the owners continued because four years later, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge granted a permanent injunction preventing the owners of Big Sky from offering and selling unregistered securities to the public. The judge also ordered the company to make restitution of $180,000 to six investors.
On Feb. 20, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against three California residents for defrauding people with promises of big returns for their investment in multimillion movies. One of the residents indicted was Randy Chortkoff, an executive with Big Sky. Big Sky Motion Pictures was not named in the SEC complaint.
Legal Help for Fraud Victims
People who are victims of investment schemes and want to get their money back have legal options available to them. Here are the steps to take in preparation to file a legal complaint:
- Contact an investment fraud attorney who will determine whether you have a valid claim against the responsible party. In the case of Big Sky, it has already been proven that the company is responsible for the financial losses of its investors.
- Show evidence of the fraud. Present financial documents showing the amount of money you invested and the specific amount of return promised on your investment.
- File an investment fraud lawsuit against the responsible party. Your attorney will prepare the lawsuit which could be filed in state or federal court–it will depend on the type of law violated. For instance, Big Sky investors who live in California would file a lawsuit in the county in which they live because California laws were violated. Your attorney will know in which court to file your lawsuit.
Big Sky Motion Pictures will be tied up in state and federal court for quite some time. The owners will not have time to produce movies because they will be busy finding ways to make restitution to their investors based on the court’s order. If you invested with this business or any other type of fraudulent investment, contact legal counsel as soon as possible.
Teresa Stewart, freelance writer, often researches new investment strategies. She shares this post for others to be especially thorough in investigating telemarketing get rich quick schemes.
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