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Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Alleged Fraud Surrounding a Gianni Agnelli Family Connection

FiatAs I previously discussed,the legal battles surrounding the estate of Gianni Agnelli, former chairman of Fiat, finished several years ago. However, a man named Billy Jack Hebrew has resurrected the Agnelli estate battle when he allegedly defrauded investors of at least $1 million dollars by claiming a family connection to the Agnelli family. Specifically, Hebrew declared that he was an heir to the Fiat estate. Now, Delaware LLC, Meta4, Colleen Camp, and John Degraye sued Hebrew, Cort Javarone, and Campfire Productions. The complaint states that Hebrew changed his name and misrepresented to the plaintiffs that he was the illegitimate son of Edoardo Agnellito and that his worth was over a billion dollars. Plaintiffs believe Hebrew concocted this story to gain credibility with his new business partners. Camp and Degraye did believe these claims and invested in the defendants' business. The complaint states that Hebrew had no actual connection to the Agnelli family.

According to Courthouse News Service, the complaint asserts the defendants run a film and technology company called the Spark Technology Fund. The defendants allegedly solicited investors for Spark by using plaintiffs' relationships with actors and directors in the movie industry without permission. Additionally, Camp and Degraye also claim that the defendants used their names and photos without permission to promote the Spark Technology Fund. The complaint goes on to accuse the defendants of making false promises about producing movies by using the Agnelli family connection as leverage. Among a couple of other requests Camp and Degraye seek preservation of documents, disbandment of Campfire Productions, and the rescission of the LLC agreement. 

See Sean Kelly, An Heir to the Fiat Fortune, Hey?, Courthouse News Service, Feb. 7, 2013.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2013/02/alleged-fraud-surrounding-a-gianni-agnelli-family-connection.html

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