Top Canadian Film Execs Back in Court Over Alleged Corruption Case

The legal battle involving equipment supplier Paul Bronfman and Larry Sacchetti has heated up with the filing of dueling motions in a case of alleged kickback schemes.

TORONTO -- The owner of Canada’s top production rental company has filed a motion in the Ontario Superior Court to compel a former top executive to provide information related to an ongoing lawsuit alleging corruption, kickback schemes and a cover-up.

Paul Bronfman, president and CEO of William F. White International (WFW), in a Nov. 21, 2012, affidavit attached to a 2011 lawsuit urged the court to compel Larry Sacchetti, a former company COO, to disclose key information about a “Sacchetti Family Investment Partnership.”

WFW believes Sacchetti does not have exclusive control over the partnership and might in fact be a trustee.

The Bronfman motion to compel discovery is related to a separate motion from Sacchetti before the Ontario Superior Court to force WFW to pay him the purchase price of shares in the former Comweb Corp. and various subsidiaries.

Sacchetti acquired those shares via a loan provided to him by WFW.

Bronfman last year brought a lawsuit against Sacchetti, who was fired by then Comweb Group on March 23, 2011, for allegedly misappropriating funds and receiving secret commissions related to work he did for the Canadian production equipment rental giant.

WFW’s total claim against Sacchetti for breaches of fiduciary duty comes to $581,621.

The two parties are in the discovery stage of their lawsuits, ahead of a possible trial.

Bronfman also brought legal action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against William White, whose father founded WFW in 1963 and who was president until late 2005.

The twin lawsuits allege the former WFW executives engaged in kickback schemes and other corrupt practices.

Among the abuses alleged against White and Sacchetti were orchestrating fraudulent kickback schemes to purchase film production equipment from vendors Kingsway Motion Picture Ltd. and Theatricus Inc. and improper accounting treatment of the schemes.