Reclusive billionaire Kirk Kerkorian made another legal charge Thursday in his ongoing battle with French bank Credit Lyonnais, filing a lengthy motion seeking to impel the bank to turn over numerous documents which his attorneys say the bank is hiding.
The brief, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks to obtain a number of bank loan documents and contracts related to the 1990 sale of MGM/UA, and also looks to redepose several CL execs.
The motion charges that CL has, on numerous occasions, been concealing documents, many of which Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. has managed to look at through a recent Swiss bankruptcy hearing of a Geneva-based holding company (Sasea) that helped buy MGM.
“Based on the records we’ve found so far, we are absolutely flabbergasted at what has been discovered and are not so patiently waiting for an explanation,” said Patricia L. Glaser, of Christensen, White, Miller, Fink & Jacobs, representing Kerkorian and his Tracinda Corp.
In response, CL spokesman Fred Spar called Kerkorian’s charges “totally false and possibly libelous.
“We originally filed a complaint against Kerkorian charging that the solvency opinion they offered up on the worth of MGM (prior to the studio’s 1990 sale) was cooked and we have evidence to show it,” he said. “Kerkorian’s people are now engaged in an international press campaign to simply divert attention from those facts.”
Yet a part of Kerkorian’s lengthy motion points to the recent Swiss bankruptcy hearing of Sasea — a hearing Kerkorian contends produced several documents related to MGM’s sale that Kerkorian’s people believe are extremely relevant to their own cross-complaint against CL.
The motion goes on to charge that even the judge handling the Sasea bankruptcy, Judge Jean-Louis Crochet, found CL to be hiding documents from him and has since sought to criminally charge two top CL officials in connection with the Sasea bankruptcy (Daily Variety, Feb. 16).
Kerkorian’s motion claims that Crochet himself saw a document, dated May 27, 1993, in which unknown sources allegedly advised Credit Lyonnais to withhold certain documents.
Spar, in response, said that the bankruptcy hearing in Switzerland was a “confidential proceeding.”
“We would not be surprised if there will be an investigation into how those documents (from the hearing) got into Mr. Kerkorian’s hands,” Spar said.
Among the documents that Kerkorian’s people have recently seen in connection with the Sasea case are statements pertaining to the net worth of Pathe Communications Corp. and MGM from 1991 until the present. Kerkorian’s attorneys also believe there are several documents related to CL’s role in Sasea’s financial affairs that have been withheld from them.
In addition, Kerkorian’s attorneys believe there are hidden loan documents that would bolster their fraud charges against CL. saying they believe the bank not only made bad loans to sustain problem clients but also financed sham sales of assets.
Spar claimed that all such charges of fraud were merely Kerkorian’s attempt to cover up his own fraud when he sold MGM as an entity that was in the black. “One of the conditions of the sale of MGM … is that when Giancarlo Parretti bought the studio, that it had a healthy, positive cashflow,” Spar said. “Yet, within a couple months after the closing, MGM had a negative cashflow of over $ 250 million.”