Florida Wins Legal Victory Against Digital Domain

Florida won another legal victory against Digital Domain on Wednesday when a judge announced the case would be moved from bankruptcy court in West Palm Beach back to state court.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Ever since the Inspector General determined that the Digital Domain deal for $20 million in state money was improperly awarded to a now bankrupt company after bypassing our existing protocols and safeguards, we have vowed to get this money restored to Florida. Yesterday’s decision is another step forward in this effort and we are pleased to have a victory in our fight to restore the money taken from Florida taxpayers.”

DEO outside counsel William Scherer said, “Now that we’re back in Florida court, the wheels of justice will move with greater purpose, and we’ll force those who plotted and succeeded in funneling millions of dollars in taxpayer money to a defunct company to explain themselves under oath. We look forward to getting this process underway, and we’re beginning to schedule depositions for those in the previous administration who circumvented protocols to profit Digital Domain at taxpayer expense.”

An Inspector General’s Report revealed the usual state regulatory processes were circumvented to give Digital Domain economic incentives. For the full Inspector General report click HERE.

On July 22, 2014, the State of Florida, through the Department of Economic Opportunity, filed suit against Digital Domain to recover funds that were stolen by the company. The suit can be found HERE.

In September 2014, Digital Domain filed a notice of removal to have the case against them moved into bankruptcy court. On October 29, 2014, a hearing in the Southern District of Florida was held to determine if the motion to remove the Digital Domain case from state court to bankruptcy court was valid. At Wednesday’s hearing, the judge said he would remand the case back to state court where DEO can continue to pursue the recoupment of all monies owed to the state. On October 29, 2014, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced in a separate Digital Domain case that the state would recoup $18 million in tax credits back.

 

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