Our client, who is a professional concert pianist brought an action against the defendant for breach of contract, rescission of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and for an accounting. Our clients were investors in some film projects being produced by defendant pursuant to written agreements they entered into with the defendant. They claimed the defendant defrauded them and breached the contracts he entered into with them by failing to properly keep accounting records of the film projects and by failing and refusing to provide them with information on the film projects and financial information relating to them.
A CPA referee was appointed by the court to determine if the defendant had in fact maintained the books and records of the films in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. He determined that the defendant failed to comply with the agreements and to keep the books and records of the film projects properly.
The trial of the case was then heard before Judge Stoll. Our clients and one witness testified to support their fraud and breach of contract claims. The defendant testified. The court then took the case under submission and issued a judgment against the defendant on the breach of contract cause of action and rescission causes of action only. The court ruled the defendant materially breached the contracts by failing to maintain the books and records pursuant to the agreements. The court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove up fraud. Our clients were awarded their initial investments sums, accrued interest on the principal amount from the date of their investments in the film projects in the total sum of $100,500. Our clients were also awarded their costs of suit.