Las Vegas nightclub, show figure sued by bankruptcy trustee
1 June 2011
A bankruptcy trustee on Tuesday sued Las Vegas nightclub and stage figure Nicole Durr, charging she and others drained three of Durr’s companies of more than $4.3 million before they filed for bankruptcy.
The trustee is also suing the owner of the now-closed Sahara resort, among others, as he seeks to recover funds for the benefit of creditors owed money by Durr’s companies.
Three of her Las Vegas companies — Viashow Inc., Space LLC and Alcanze LLC — filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Delaware on June 1, 2009.
The bankruptcy filings came as Durr’s ND’s Fuego nightclub at the Rio near the Strip shut down; and plans collapsed for a megaclub at the Shoppes at the Palazzo called ND’s Space.
The German-born Durr was a songwriter for top European artists and gained fame in Las Vegas and across the country as a choreographer and director when she brought the Cuban-American production “Havana Night Club — The Show” in 2004 to the Stardust on the Strip.
In Tuesday’s adversary complaint in the 2009 bankruptcies of the three Durr companies, trustee George L. Miller focuses on allegations that money was improperly transferred — to the detriment of creditors — for the “Fuego Raw Talent” show at the Sahara. It ran from about August 2008 to February 2009 and was also known as “Raw Talent Live,” records show.
Attorneys for the trustee alleged in their complaint that damages sustained by Viashow were caused by Durr and other officers and directors “breaching their fiduciary duties … by systematically facilitating and engaging in a pattern and practice of draining assets from Viashow” to fund the Sahara production.
The complaint says the officers and directors also may have aided and abetted “the breach by others of fiduciary duties owed to Viashow and Viashow’s creditors.”
The trustee complained that while assets of the three bankrupt companies were used to present the show at the Sahara, none received any revenue or benefit from that show.
Viashow made “substantial expenditures” for the Sahara show for equipment purchase and rental, stage design and construction, costume design, lighting design and installation, stagehand labor, casting, consulting services, advertising, marketing, public relations, permits, licenses, photo shoots and soundtracks, the complaint says.
“The net effect of this looting systematically stripped Viashow of its assets to the severe detriment of its creditors,” the complaint says.
The trustee seeks to recover $4.355 million from Durr; J.L. Jordan III, a director of Viashow; and three Durr companies — FNV LLC, PG LLC and Angel’s Warriors Foundation — charging they were involved in “intentional fraud.”
The complaint also seeks to recover $1.285 million paid to the owner of the Sahara and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to other vendors at times the trustee says Viashow was insolvent.
In a separate complaint filed Tuesday, the trustee seeks to recover $40,000 paid to the Rio, which is part of Caesars Entertainment Corp., a payment relating to Durr’s nightclub there. The trustee says the payment must be returned since the Durr company making the payment, Alcanze LLC, was insolvent when it was made.
In a third complaint against Durr, the trustee seeks to recover $425,000 he says was paid by Space LLC — her Palazzo nightclub company — to Durr personally.
Calling these fraudulent conveyances, the trustee said Space LLC made the payments “with the actual intent to hinder, delay and/or defraud Space’s creditors as evidenced by the fact that the defendant (Durr) did not give any value or service to Space in exchange for the (money) transfers.”
Requests for comment were left Wednesday with two attorneys who have represented Durr.
The trustee also filed complaints in hopes of recovering money paid by one or more of the Durr companies to A.V.E. Inc., Republica LLC, Rafa Entertainment, MiXX iT uP, In House Productions, A and D Scenery, publisher 944 Media LLC, Sierra Health & Life Insurance Co. and law firms Lewis and Roca LLP in Las Vegas and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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