Film Producer and PE Chief Bergstein Charged in Investment Scheme

Nov 10 2016 | 12:09am ET

U.S. authorities have arrested private equity executive and film producer David Bergstein on charges of defrauding investors of more than $26 million.

Bergstein is the CEO of Los Angeles-based Cyrano Group and was executive producer on 2015’s In the Heart of the Sea. He was charged in an indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan and arrested in California.

Bergstein, along with Weston Capital Asset Management's former general counsel, is accused of withholding material information from investors in Weston hedge funds, transferring funds without disclosing conflicts of interest, and misappropriating funds for his own use, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney General for NY's Southern District Preet Bharara. 

The U.S. SEC, meanwhile, has filed a related civil suit alleging Bergstein misappropriated more than $5.8 million for personal use. Reuters is reporting that the case is related to a probe of market manipulation in the shares of reinsurer Gerova Financial Group in 2010 and 2011. 

Bergstein is known in indie film circles for work done through his ThinkFilm and Capitol Films Development companies, creating films such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Bruce Willis’s The Whole Ten Yards.

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