Federal agencies are looking into the Management Group, the Hollywood management company that is currently in the midst of a legal battle with actor Johnny Depp.
One of the probes, which is being led by the IRS and the Justice Department, is examining the possibility that the company has engaged in fraud and money laundering, according to people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the probes.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also is examining the manner in which the company handled Depp’s money. The IRS and the SEC declined to comment. The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
In January, Depp sued the company, accusing it of fraud and negligence and seeking at least $25 million in damages. TMG countersued the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, claiming that its former client has engaged in profligate spending. It is seeking $560,000 in unpaid fees from the actor.
Michael Kump, an attorney for TMG, said in a statement Tuesday: “In 30 years of business, no current or former client of TMG has raised any issue, other than Johnny Depp who continues to spread malicious, unfounded lies about the company. TMG will vigorously defend and defeat all of Depp’s fabricated claims.”
A spokeswoman for Depp didn’t respond to a request for comment.
TMG, based in Beverly Hills, was founded by brothers Joel and Rob Mandel. TMG hasn’t been contacted about the federal probes, according to a person close to the brothers who was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.
Depp alleges in his suit that his former managers engaged in gross mismanagement and, at times, outright fraud. The suit also names the brothers’ business called the Mandel Co. as well as other defendants.
In response, the brothers claim that Depp and his close associates were made aware of the star’s financial state but continued to spend extravagantly.