Hollywood Guilds Claim 'Wolf of Wall Street' Money After Government Seizure

The Hollywood Reporter

The Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America are each contesting the U.S. Government's attempt to seize rights and profits to the Oscar-nominated film, The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese.

The feds filed a forfeiture action on July 20, contending that the money that Red Granite Pictures used to finance the film traces back to embezzled Malaysian public funds. 

Red Granite will soon make its own case that nothing improper happened, but in the meantime, the guilds say that pursuant to agreements between Red Granite, Scorsese's company, Leonardo DiCaprio's company and others, they are entitled to receive residuals from ongoing exploitation of the film.

In statements lodged on Friday in California federal court, each of the guilds say they are "primarily concerned with ensuring that if forfeiture is obtained, then disposition of forfeited assets does not compromise the future ability … to collect and disburse Residuals on behalf of represented employees in the event that either the license to Paramount Pictures Corporation expires, the Foreign Residuals Set-Aside is depleted, or Residuals do not get paid through the CAM Agreement."

SAG says that $304,666 remains in the foreign residuals set-aside while the DGA says $13,444 remains for its members.

Additionally, the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans has also filed a claim to ensure that contributions to its funds are made. What's different about their claim is an additional note that an audit of Red Granite Pictures is now underway.

All of the entities are being represented by Joseph Kohanski at Bush Gottlieb.