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COMPANY TOWN ANNEX | BRIEFLY

Accounting Firm Settles With Producer

March 15, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Coopers & Lybrand, one of the nation's major accounting firms, offered to pay more than $2 million to video producer Lol Creme, a former client who sued the company for mishandling his finances throughout the 1980s, sources said. Coopers offered to resolve the legal dispute just hours before a Los Angeles Superior Court jury was to deliver a verdict on punitive damages in the case. On Thursday, the jury found that Cooper's entertainment division, Gelfand Rennert & Feldman, had committed "malice and fraud" in their financial dealings with Creme and awarded him $2.1 million in compensatory damages. A spokesman for Coopers said the company vigorously disagreed with the verdict. "We argued throughout the trial and continue to believe that the services rendered to Mr. Creme were appropriate and properly accounted for," the spokesman said. "The jury unfortunately disagreed. In view of Mr. Creme's demand for punitive damages, we resolved the matter without further court proceedings." Coopers is at the center of controversy swirling around former employee Steve Cantrock's dealings with Death Row Records, which is under investigation by the federal government. Cantrock, whom Death Row has accused of stealing $4.5 million, was fired by Coopers in January for unethical business practices.

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