December 29, 2008

Eric Roth's Curious Court Case

Seems like he got scammed too in the Madoff scandal, as this report in the Daily News details:
The writer of a string of Hollywood hits - including "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - sued his investment manager Friday for losing a bundle in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Screenwriter Eric Roth claims his "trusted investment manager," Stanley Chais, "simply handed off" his money to Madoff while collecting "enormous fees."
When he learned of his "heavy" losses last week: Roth exclaimed: "I'm the biggest sucker who ever walked the face of the Earth. The tragedy is the people who lost their life savings and their dreams."
Madoff is accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme on charities, Yeshivas and high-rollers around the world, including New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
In papers filed in Los Angeles, Roth - also authored the screen versions of "Forrest Gump" and "The Horse Whisperer" - claims he suffered "massive losses" at the hands of Chais.
Roth, listing himself as the trustee for Vanessa Productions Ltd. profit-sharing plan, charged Chais "funneled to Madoff the billions of dollars in investment capital that he needed to perpetuate his confessed Ponzi scheme."
Roth charges Chais ignored "red flags" from other investors and hedge fund managers, investment advisers and banks that had refused to invest with Madoff's firm, BMIS.
After a long slump, Roth just hit it big again as writer of "Benjamin Button," in which the lead character ages backward - from old age to youth.
He was nominated this week for a Golden Globe.
Chais failed to conduct "reasonable due diligence" of Madoff's investment practices and the failure to diversify investments constituted "gross negligence and an egregious breach of fiduciary duties," the suit says.
Roth is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
-Pretty rough Eric, perhaps the Academy will help cheer him up soon...

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