$1.5 bil judgment hits former MGM owner

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ordered fugitive Giancarlo Parretti to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Credit Lyonnais in connection with his purchase and subsequent debilitation of MGM in 1990.

Judge Joseph Kalin ruled the erstwhile Pathe Communications chief to pay CL holding company Consortium de Realization $1.1 billion, plus prejudgment interest of $376 million. In January, Parretti fled to Italy from the U.S. to avoid sentencing on his conviction for perjury and evidence tampering stemming from a 1991 Delaware court battle with the bank over control of MGM and its board.

Kalin’s ruling Monday was not contested, because a condition of his bail called for Parretti to pay $1.1 billion if he fled the U.S., according Jay Coggan, Parretti’s attorney in the criminal case and longtime legal counsel. While Parretti remains on the lam, attorneys for CL would not speculate if the bank would ever see any of the awarded funds.

“We believe the judgment is valid and due,” Travers Wood, the lead CL lawyer, told Daily Variety.

In March, Judge Kalin rejected a $3.9 billion claim of fraud lodged by Parretti against the bank and its former Dutch subsidiary Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland. In the March civil matter, Coggan was permitted to withdrawal as counsel a week before the hearing. Parretti was not represented in that proceeding.

“It’s sad,” said Coggan, referring to the $1.5 billion judgment. “After all these years, it’s the conclusion of Giancarlo Parretti’s journey into Hollywood.”

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