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Joel Silver Production Financing Sparks Fight Over Fees

The firm that found a lender for the Hollywood producer believes it's owed money

Joel Silver - P 2014
AP Images/Invision
Joel Silver

Two finance companies are now in court over fees related to the financing of production companies belonging to Joel Silver.

According to a fraud lawsuit filed on Monday in New Jersey federal court, Silver, the producer of such hits as Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and The Matrix, was in the market for financing. The lawsuit doesn't say when this occurred but does say that he entered into an agreement with The Watley Group, a restructuring and reorganization firm owned by A. John A. Bryan, Jr.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Alliance Capital Corp., which says it had its own agreement with Watley for a 25 percent fee if it procured a lender for Silver, who is not a defendant in this lawsuit.

Alliance says it was successful in lining up such a lender for Silver but didn't immediately know the fees that the financing was generating. Watley allegedly represented that it would be receiving $160,000 from the deal. Alliance says it later found out that Watley was entitled to receive $489,500. As a result, Alliance believes it was owed more than $40,000 for finding Silver's financing.

"Defendants knew their representations to Alliance to be false at the time they were made and made such representations for the sole purpose of depriving Alliance of its full fee based upon the total fee due and owing to Watley," states the complaint.

The lawsuit also mentions escrow instructions, allegedly "scrubbed" via redactions to hide the amount of money being disbursed.

According to the complaint, "When Alliance's counsel questioned the incomplete Instructions, Bryan became extremely defensive and hostile and suggested, among other things, that Alliance and its counsel were interfering with and damaging Defendants' relationship with the Silvers by demanding to see the entire Instructions."

Bryan wasn't immediately available to comment on the lawsuit, which demands compensatory and punitive damages.

Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner