Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/23/2012 -- Steve Faber, famed writer of Wedding Crashers, could soon be finding that the courtroom he crashes is actually awaiting his arrival. He is currently being sued for fraud by Chicago/Los Angeles based financial guru Imran Mukati.
Legal papers were served last week following a damning turn of events that saw Mukati’s childhood dream leaving him out of faith, out of options and ultimately out of pocket.
“Since the age of five I have had a passion for film and television. My childhood was unique to say the least - cramped with five members of my loving family in a tiny Chicagoland apartment. Even though I wouldn’t have changed that humbling experience for anything, it didn’t leave me room for inspiration. I saw the entertainment world as an opportunity to finally pursue my dreams of developing unique and good films and TV concepts that all would enjoy” says Mukati.
Successful in Finance, Mukati continued to explore opportunities in film and TV both as a writer/creator and producer. Two years ago, he devised a concept for a series surrounding the dating lives of single men based on his own experiences. “A kind of Sex and the City for guys” he adds.
During a trip to 2010’s TV PITCHfest in LA, Mukati met Faber through a mutual friend.
“We really hit it off together” says Mukati. He continues “Faber befriended me at this meeting and he loved my idea. We talked about it for over two hours and agreed to keep in touch. This was Steve Faber – the guy who wrote one of the biggest movies in recent years – and I finally felt my dream was going somewhere”.
The two became close friends, and during a follow up meeting in mid-2011, Faber offered to commit to Mukati’s idea and write a pilot for the show. Faber agreed to offer a discount due to the ‘affinity’ he felt towards Mukati, asking for a fee of $75,000. “I really felt Faber was the right anchor in Hollywood, and at this point he presented himself as a Brother to me. The agreement we signed was simple – I’d provide the money, my initial notes, a layout of my concept and work hand and hand with Faber. In return, he agreed to provide a finished and marketable script no later than 16 weeks from the date of last payment” adds Mukati.
“By this point, it was the summer of 2011 and I was frantically arranging funds through people who trusted me. Steve (Faber) got in touch numerous times, telling me that he had already developed character arcs and the theme for the project, and that he was also talking to producers who were excited to hear more. We met face to face on numerous occasions throughout this process before and after full payment, in order for us to continue creating the series as a collaboration.” He says.
Final payment to Faber was made in August, with a completed script and treatment expected at the end of October 2011. However, as with all Hollywood tales, things didn’t pan out as expected.
“Nothing ever fell into my hands. In October, Faber’s attorney said he needed another 12 weeks – which I didn’t believe as, according to our communication, he was already working on it since July 2011” explains Mukati.
As 2012 rolled in with celebrations for most, Mukati sat still, nervously waiting for the overdue work to arrive. With no sign of delivery or contact from Faber, Mukati and his legal team filed their $75,000 fraud lawsuit in Federal Courts in January of this year.
As Mukati makes clear – this is a true mirror of the famous David and Goliath story:
“Trading and capital raising is my forte and has been for over 15yrs, but I was new to Faber’s field and he knew it. I had a dream which he took and ended up pulling strings with – leaving me as the puppet. It seems he knew exactly what he needed to do to get me to pay him. I’ve got my own financial loss to deal with, as well as the need to provide embarrassing answers for those who so kindly trusted me and invested in my project. Worst of all though, is that he slashed my dream” says Mukati.
He continues, believing he is not alone in his plight:
“I am sure that plenty of other people share my pain, including the young people, new to Hollywood, the future of the entertainment industry. This is why I’m glad to share my fight for justice in Hollywood. It’s just a shame that there is also a dark side to Hollywood; these people are roaming the streets looking to take advantage of inexperienced and trusting people. They may gain a few bucks, but in the process they destroy dreams, tarnish good names and negatively stain the character of their entire industry. I’m thankful for all the guidance that has been given by my friends and mentors who have had countless years of TV and film development experience; these are the good people, the reason why Hollywood still has its glamour. My close confidant said something that has stuck with me for a long while, “I come from nothing, so everything means something.” That notion allows me to continue the good fight and make this Hollywood dream come to life, this is just a hiccup. Good always prevails with the right support.” Mukati concludes.
It certainly appears that Mukati has great support and firepower behind him - with representation by the Los Angeles offices of Daman LLC and the Chicago law firm Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP
The case continues...