Two Saints Players Say Movie Studio Owes Them $510K

FootballCrime, Law and JusticeSportsJustice SystemBankruptcyFinancially Distressed CompaniesSeattle Seahawks

New Orleans Saints defensive end CharlesGrant and tight end Jeremy Shockey claimed Tuesday that they'reowed $510,000 by a movie studio at the center of an investmentdispute involving current and former members of the team.

Grant and Shockey asked a federal judge to allow them to join alawsuit seeking forced bankruptcy against Louisiana Film StudiosLLC. The suit accuses studio CEO Wayne Read of selling $1.9 millionin state movie tax credits to 27 people, many with connections tothe Saints, but never applied for the credits or returned theirmoney.

Read has said he intends to pay the money back after securingother investors or by obtaining credits from a broker. He said thestudio ran into unexpected expenses during its startup and credits- for the 2008 tax year and due on March 31 - were not applied forbecause of uncertainty about what expenses qualified.

According to a list of buyers obtained by The Associated Press,Grant was the largest single investor in the credits, paying$425,000. Shockey paid $85,000, according to the court filing.

The buyers thought they would be getting $1.33 for every dollarinvested, attorneys have said. Other buyers included Saints coachSean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and former star Archie Manning.

State film office officials confirmed that Read never appliedfor the credits.

On July 22, Saints linebacker Scott Shanle, former punter MitchBerger and recently cut Saints long snapper Kevin Houser, who hassigned with the Seattle Seahawks, filed an involuntary bankruptcysuit against Louisiana Film Studios. On July 31, U.S. BankruptcyJudge Elizabeth Magner froze most of the studio's assets.

The suit, also filed by a construction company half-owned byHouser's wife claiming it is owed nearly $700,000 for work on thestudio, asks for appointment of a court-supervised overseer of thestudio's finances. Read has not been named personally in the suit.

Magner has scheduled a hearing for Friday and ordered Read - orhis attorney - to appear in court on the studio's behalf. Read didnot attend last week's hearing after signing a consent orderfreezing studio assets before the hearing.

No one answered the listed telephone for Louisiana Film Studioson Tuesday. Read does not have a listed number and has not returnednumerous calls for comment placed at the studio and through aspokesman.

Illinois court records show that Read paid $452,000 on Jan. 21to settle a dispute over another failed investment involving plansfor a New Orleans-area movie studio.

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