David Bergstein's creditors are quickly running out of patience, according to the Daily Journal (no link). The paper reports that they've begun circulating a petition to force Bergstein's financially troubled companies into bankruptcy.
The involuntary Chapter 11 petition is likely to be filed by the end of next week against the stateside arm of British film distributor Capitol Films, New York-based independent studio ThinkFilm, the Capco Group and other entities headed by Bergstein, according to several people with knowledge about the petition who asked to remain anonymous because the process was being handled confidentially. They said the creditor initiating the petition is a business with a judgment against at least one of Bergstein's companies.Bergstein's mini-film empire has been an accident waiting to happen for some time. He's faced more than a dozen legal disputes for issues ranging from unpaid script writing to financing agreements. Ongoing litigation involves $130 million. But Bergstein adheres to a never-let-them-see-you-sweat style - he's been going after the Miramax name and film library from Disney and continues to hustle movies. Bergstein became partners with construction tycoon Ron Tutor in 2006 and bought Capitol and ThinkFilm.
Several suits, many of them filed in Los Angeles courts, accused Bergstein's companies of skipping out on payments for services rendered, resulting in numerous unpaid judgments or default judgments against the producer and his entities. That's caused headaches for local attorneys who have tried unsuccessfully to collect the delinquent awards. The largest among the local judgments is an award for more than $4.2 million to Allied Advertising, a Boston company that claims it was never paid for promotional work it did for ThinkFilm between 2004 and 2006.