Trustee of Steve Bannon’s Former Company Asks Judge to Freeze Weinstein Co. Assets

Genius Products trustee Alfred Siegel is looking to prevent a fire sale of TWC’s parts

Last Updated: November 3, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

The trustee for a bankrupt home video distributor once owned by an investment group led by Steve Bannon is asking a judge to freeze the assets of The Weinstein Company.

Alfred Siegel, the Chapter 7 trustee for bankrupt Genius Products, filed the complaint Thursday in a California bankruptcy court seeking to reclaim the $130 million it says it is owed by the independent studio.

The complaint alleges that TWC and Genius inked a distribution agreement in 2005, after TWC had acquired a 70 percent stake in the business, but “the terms of the TWC Distribution Agreement were so onerous and one-sided in favor of Weinstein it was impossible for Genius to operate profitably.”

Siegel seeks to recover more than $130 million paid to TWC in the four years before Genius filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Bannon, the Breitbart News honcho and former Trump White House adviser, served as chairman of Genius when the TWC deal was signed.

Siegel said he was looking to prevent a fire sale of TWC’s assets, which could leave nothing to pay Genius’ claim.

He cited multiple media reports suggesting that TWC’s survival as a going concern is unlikely and bankruptcy appears probable after Harvey Weinstein was fired as CEO after facing scores of accusations of sexual misconduct.

“Such relief is necessary to prevent the imminent dissipation of Weinstein’s assets, which assets are necessary for the Trustee to satisfy his fraudulent transfer claims against Weinstein,” the complaint says.

“Weinstein will not be harmed in the slightest by the injunction sought as it will only make its business transactions transparent and prevent an inchoate fire sale while the Trustee will be irreparably injured should the order sought not issue.”

According to Business Insider, Bannon Strategic Advisers had a $500,0000 consulting deal with Genius Products in 2006, and SEC filings suggest that Bannon himself received bonuses totaling more than $200,000.

Pamela Chelin contributed reporting to this article.