Union Pension-Backed Film Studio in New Mexico Target of Fraud Suit

albuquerqueAlbuquerque isn’t about to replace Hollywood anytime soon as the nation’s movie and television capital.  But a new studio nearing completion at least should make the fast-growing New Mexico city and surrounding area a major industry presence.  The $74 million, 50-acre facility, by all accounts, is state of the art.  The financing, however, has involved some old-fashioned expense-account fraud – or so certain Los Angeles businessmen allege.  On April 9, Pacific Coast Capital Partners (PCCP), the majority owner of Hollywood’s famed Culver Studios, filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  The partnership charges that the project’s main financial backer, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Pacifica Ventures, and its two principal officers, Hal Katersky and Dana Arnold, fraudulently billed Culver Studios more than $1 million for various services.  What makes this action particularly intriguing is that Pacifica received extensive funding from union pensions to get the project off the ground.