Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Suit alledges Ilitch partner involved in $2 million fraudulent money transfer

Michael I. Goldberg, a Ft. Lauderdale-based attorney at Akerman Senterfitt, is the court appointed receiver for entities known as Worldwide Entertainment Group.

As Receiver, Goldberg brought charges forward on 6.09.08 in Federal District Court (Goldberg v. Malik) alledging that Detroit casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr. was involved in a $2.1 million fraudulent money transfer -- so-called "profit payments" -- that were funded through a classic Ponzi scheme.

The Receiver's complaint seeks Malik's return of the "profit payments" plus interest and other costs. It is one of numerous subsequent complaints stemming from an earlier Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.

(Complaint: Fraudulent Money Transfers)

In April 2006, the SEC announced it had filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida charging Worldwide Entertainment, Inc. and Entertainment Group Fund, Inc. and their principal John P. (Jack) Utsick, and American Enterprises, Inc. and Entertainment Funds, Inc. and their principals Robert Yeager and Donna Yeager, in connection with a fraudulent offering that raised over $300 million from over 3,300 investors nationwide.

Malik was one of the original backers of Detroit's MotorCity Casino but couldn't get licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) so it was reported that he sold his shares to Mrs. Marian Ilitch in 1999 before the casino could open its doors.

Since then, Malik's numerous business affiliates have been based out of the executive office suite at Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Malik and Marian Ilitch have pursued other projects together including casinos in Hawaii, California, Michigan and New York.

The Detroit-based Ilitch family (Mike Ilitch, his wife Marian and their children) controls a privately held sports, entertainment and dining empire including the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars Pizza and MotorCity Casino.

The Ilitch family also owns or manages some of Detroit's largest sports and concert venues including Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, the historic Fox Theater, the Masonic Temple Theater and Cobo Arena.

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