Settlement OK’d in suit involving planned Elvis Presley resort
13 September 2012
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit over a failed real estate investment that would have included an Elvis Presley-themed casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
The case involves Robert F.X. Sillerman, known for his investments in the "American Idol" TV show, Graceland and the rights to the name and image of Presley.
Sillerman and co-investors through their company FX Luxury Las Vegas I LLC had purchased 17.72 contiguous acres of land at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue with plans to develop an Elvis resort there.
But in one of the larger real estate failures during the recession in Las Vegas, FX Luxury filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after defaulting on its $475 million mortgage.
About the time of the bankruptcy, certain shareholders of the FX parent company, FX Real Estate and Entertainment Inc., filed suit in New York Supreme Court claiming Sillerman and other insiders had engineered the bankruptcy as part of a scheme in which the insiders alone would retain rights to the Strip land while other investors would see their interests wiped out.
The suit sought at least $150 million in damages, but was settled this week for just $950,000 and an agreement that FX — now called Circle Entertainment Inc. — would appoint an independent director to its board of directors.
The settlement says the Circle Entertainment insiders didn’t admit any wrongdoing and settled in part to avoid the uncertainty of the outcome of a trial on the merits.
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