6:12am PT by Eriq Gardner
Luke Wilson Accuses Ex-Assistant of Perpetrating Identity Theft
Old School actor Luke Wilson says his former assistant Charles Lodi took advantage of his position to make unauthorized purchases on his credit cards amounting to $90,000 as well as robbing him of more than $75,000 dollars in personal property.
According to a lawsuit filed in California on Thursday, the actor's production company hired Lodi in 2011 to run various errands, and he was rewarded with compensation as well as living free-of-charge in housing provided by Wilson.
"Wilson trusted Mr. Lodi as his friend, and believed Mr. Lodi had his best interest at heart," states the complaint. "Because Defendant's duties as Mr. Wilson's personal assistant required Mr. Lodi to make purchases on Mr. Wilson's behalf for such things as travel arrangements to and from location and other personal errands, Mr. Lodi was added as an authorized signatory on Mr. Wilson's personal Visa credit card."
The lawsuit then adds that Lodi also gained access to Wilson's other credit cards as well as his accounts with online retailers. Lodi then allegedly ran up credit card charges over $88,000 for such things as hotel suites, vacation home rentals, first-class flights, RV and car rentals, wedding expenses, golf and ski equipment, electronics and restaurants.
"Though some of these charges were made on the Visa card, Defendant made purchases on other credit cards that were only in Mr. Wilson's name, in some cases posing as Mr. Wilson and signing his name without his authorization or purchasing unauthorized items online," says the complaint.
Wilson also accuses Lodi of stealing sporting goods and electronics property belonging to him while Lodi "pretended to be Mr. Wilson's friend, lived rent-free in housing provided by Mr. Wilson and allowed Mr. Wilson to wine and dine him at four-star restaurants on a regular basis."
The actor says he learned of the "betrayal" in April 2014, immediately terminated him, and agreed to forgo a lawsuit if Lodi repaid a portion of the stolen funds.
Lodi signed a termination and general release agreement (attached as an exhibit to the lawsuit) and signed a confession of judgment, filed in court (ditto).
But after only being repaid $15,000 of $75,000 owed, Wilson is now taking Lodi to court for allegedly breaching the agreement. Wilson says that Lodi is now living in Park City, Utah, in a move that "allowed him to abscond with the personal property he stole."
Wilson, represented by Alex Weingarten at Venable, demands a liquidated judgment of $60,000, plus interest, for the contract breach, plus $75,000 for an invasion of privacy, plus the return of his personal property, plus exemplary or punitive damages for other asserted causes of action.
Lodi couldn't be reached for comment.