6:07pm PT by Alex Ben Block
Director Sam Raimi Sues Insurance Broker for Fraud
Sam Raimi, the writer and director of Spider-Man 3 and many other movies, has filed a lawsuit against Jerry Goldman, his longtime insurance agent, charging fraudulent concealment, professional negligence, unjust enrichment and more.
On Nov. 7, the FBI indicted Goldman on 10 counts for improperly taking more than $800,000 from clients, including Tom Hanks and guitarist Andy Summers of The Police.
Raimi’s suit was filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Raimi, his production company, Gillian Greene and attorney Craig Jacobson, who is described as a trustee of certain trusts. Goldman is a resident of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and his company, Goldman Insurance Agency, was said to have been in the city's Newbury Park community.
According to the lawsuit, Goldman provided homeowners and personal liability insurance to Raimi from 2004 through 2011. Then in June 2011, when Raimi tried to reach Goldman, he found his phone number disconnected. That led him to look into what was happening, and he found that Goldman was the subject of an earlier lawsuit claiming there had been negligent misrepresentations concerning insurance premiums.
Raimi then looked into how much he was being charged and, according to the suit, discovered that the cost of the insurance he had been paying for was actually lower than what Goldman had claimed and was charging him.
With help from another insurance broker, Raimi says in the suit he discovered he had been overcharged by at least $72,783, including undisclosed fees that were in addition to the customary commissions a broker would take.
That led Raimi to discover what are described as “other breaches of conduct.” Those allegedly included withholding or failing to refund unearned premiums, commissions and fees from canceled policies. The suit also says Goldman illegally issued certificates of insurance.
In addition to the money he says he is owed, Raimi asked the court to grant him punitive damages, his costs and interest.
On Nov. 7, the FBI issued a press release saying it had investigated and arrested Goldman at his residence on federal mail fraud charges that, according to the Bureau, “allege he overbilled clients hundreds of thousands of dollars for insurance policies.” The FBI said some clients were overbilled by as much as 600 percent and he had improperly collected more than $800,000.
Each of the 10 counts on which Goldman carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
An attempt to reach Goldman at his listed office number was unsuccessful. A recording said the number had been disconnected.