Add the U.S. government to the growing list of creditors waiting to get paid by David Bergstein.
The Internal Revenue Service has filed a claim for $432,724.30 in unpaid taxes against Capco Group, one of a suite of Bergstein-owned film companies that a group of nearly 30 creditors have been trying to force into Chapter 11 for the past few months.
“Now that the IRS has shown up, it seems they don’t pay their taxes, either," David Molner, Aramid Entertainment chief and one of the leaders of the creditors, told TheWrap. "We already knew they don’t pay their lenders, their producing partners, their employees or the talent guilds. How much longer will Tutor and Bergstein maintain the fiction that these entities are remotely solvent or in any way being competently managed?”
Bergstein did not respond to TheWrap's request for comment.
The creditors, who include film companies, publicists and the Writers Guild of America West allege that Bergstein owes them millions of dollars.
Bergstein's money troubles grew so elaborate that they even led to his arrest in Florida last November over bad checks and unpaid gambling debts to various Las Vegas casinos.
In April, a bankruptcy court judge took the rare move of appointing interim trustee Ronald Durkin to take over the operations of Bergstein’s companies, including Capco. Yet in recent court hearings, Judge Barry Russell has lambasted the embattled film financier and his silent partner, L.A. construction magnate Ron Tutor, for “stonewalling” Durkin’s investigation.
On Wednesday, Judge Russell ordered Bergstein to turn over a server containing business documents from the companies in question to Durkin. Bergstein’s legal team had been protesting the move by claiming that the server contained privileged information.
"The only bad faith I've seen so far, and this hearing today is a good example…is on the debtors," Judge Russell told Bergstein's attorney on Wednesday.
The complicated legal wranglings and debt battles have come as Tutor managed to pull off one of the biggest coups of his career. In July, Tutor, along with Bergstein in an advisory role, orchestrated a deal to purchase Miramax Studios from Disney for $660 million.
Following the purchase, Tutor appeared to try to distance himself from Bergstein in a post-mortem interview with the Hollywood Reporter; however, the two have found themselves inextricably linked in the ongoing bankruptcy case.
Court ordered depositions of the business partners were supposed to be completed by the beginning of August, but Bergstein and Tutor failed to bring certain necessary materials to their examinations, according to an individual with knowledge of the case.
The depositions are now slated to continue sometime next week.
(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)