Nicolas Cage's attorney has hit back at a multi-million dollar lawsuit accusing the actor of committing fraud after he allegedly reneged on a loan agreement. Bosses at Red Curb Investments claim the National Treasure star borrowed $5 million in July 2007 to fund a real estate venture.
The deal stipulated Cage make monthly repayments of $29,166.67, which included 10 per cent interest - but he reportedly failed to keep up with the finance plan. Company executives accuse Cage of fraud because he neglected to alert Red Curb Investments to the $6.26 million he owes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - and they believe the star used the cash to cover his tax shortfall, reports TMZ.com.
Red Curb are suing Cage and Samuel Levin - the former business manager the actor has accused of mismanaging his finances - for $15 million in addition to the loan amount and other costs, which rack up to more than $36.7 million.
However, Cage's legal representative Marty Singer has blasted the allegations. He tells TMZ.com, "Any claim that our client engaged in any fraudulent conduct is ridiculous."
Cage was slapped with the big tax lien in October 2009 after reportedly failing to pay income tax on earnings dating back to 2007. He is also facing other claims of unpaid tax relating to earnings from 2002 to 2004. The actor fired Levin and began legal proceedings against him in October 2009, blaming him for leading Cage "down a path of financial ruin".