Federal agents have accused a Los Angeles production company of defrauding investors in a 3D animated remake of more than $22 million and arrested the company’s principals, including the former president and CEO of Film Roman, David Pritchard, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper reports that a federal court issued indictments aimed at Gigapix Productions CEO David Blauvelt and Pritchard, the company’s president, accusing the company of spending investors’ funds on salaries, expenses, commissions and other expenses, the Times writes. The indictment says about 750 investors in the Oz 3D project lost virtually all their money they invested and the film was was never made.
Blauvelt, Pritchard, company salesman Gregory Pusateri and Cheri Brown face 36 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and other charges. The fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the Times writes.
Pritchard pleaded not guilty to the charges, writes the Times.
Pritchard, who left Film Roman in 1997, served as an executive producer on such well-known animated series as King of the Hill and The Simpsons.