Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa company sues local Bollywood boosters

TAMPA — A Tampa-based video communications company is suing two leading local organizers behind the effort to bring the Bollywood film industry's annual awards show to Tampa.

The company, AVI-SPL, contends that Tampa cardiologist, businessman and philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel and his brother-in-law, Lutz real estate agent Chetan "Jason" Shah, agreed to make it the exclusive executive producer for 32 "buzz events" associated with the extravaganza, scheduled for April 23-26, but that didn't happen.

AVI, which provides audio and video communications services to a range of corporate clients, has 1,800 employees and about three dozen offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, according to its website.

Patel, who committed his own money to help persuade organizers to bring the event to Tampa, said Thursday he had just learned about the suit so it would be premature to comment.

Shah said discussions with AVI were handled properly and that nobody promised the company that it would win a contract.

"Nobody can guarantee that you'll get the business," Shah said. Such decisions were subject to the approval of the event's main organizers in India, and "I have no idea why they didn't get the business."

AVI contends in its lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, that "Go Bollywood Tampa Bay Florida Convention LLC," which corporate records show was formed by Shah, was represented to be the host committee for the International Indian Film Academy's Weekend & Awards.

AVI's complaint says it entered into several agreements for services with Go Bollywood, two of which listed Patel as a member of Go Bollywood, and that it was told that Patel would personally back any agreement related to money that AVI advanced to Go Bollywood. As a result of those agreements, the company said it wired a $75,000 deposit to Go Bollywood and spent another $145,000-plus on travel, labor, production and planning. AVI's suit further contends that Go Bollywood agreed in October to pay it nearly $11 million for its work.

But in November, according to the lawsuit, word arrived that the buzz events might be canceled. AVI sent the defendants an email saying it would invoice Go Bollywood pursuant to the October agreement's cancellation policy. The same day, it got an email from Patel saying he was "not part" of Go Bollywood and shouldn't be getting emails, according to the suit. The buzz events were soon cancelled. AVI says it is owed nearly $6.4 million under the cancellation policy.

Not named as defendants in the lawsuit are the International Indian Film Academy and its parent organization, Wizcraft International Entertainment, based in Mumbai. Wizcraft is the company that created and organizes the film awards, now in their 15th year. The Tampa awards will be the first time the event will be held in the United States. Wizcraft organizers said this week that plans are coming together well.

Tampa company sues local Bollywood boosters 04/03/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.