A producer is being sued by multiple investors for alleged fraud over a failed Broadway musical.
The musical, dubbed “Nerds,” was set to be produced by Carl Levin and revolve around the rivalry between tech giants Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Levin claimed he had garnered $6.2 million in funding from major backers like Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, however, he had only raised $200,000. Thirteen investors put over $600,000 into the play, which never made it to Broadway, and are now suing the producer.
Levin told the show’s funders that the financing was “all in place” and that Zuckerberg and Microsoft were among the investors, plaintiffs Marc Stanley Goldman and Judith Nath said in the Supreme Court suit, however, these “representations were false.”
The Book of Mormon‘s Rory O’Malley and Bryan Fenkart of Memphis were set to play lead roles in the play, but before previews started in March 2016, the show was pulled. Levin was reportedly already $100,000 in debt and needed $7.5 million to successfully open the show at New York City’s Longacre Theater in April.
According to the New York Post, court papers say that Levin made the “intentional misrepresentations…to lure investors into contributing capital to Nerds Broadway Limited Liability Company.” He then tried to cover up his fraud by “publicly falsely attributing the play’s premature cancellation to the ‘last minute’ loss of a ‘major investor,’ although “there was no such investor,” the suit alleges.
The suit also claims that the failure of “Nerds” was due to Levin’s “reckless financial commitments” and his cancellation left a “trail of disappointment, anger, and unpaid vendors.” The real investors of the suit are suing for their money back, as well as over $5 million in other damages.