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Nick Cage Spends National Treasure, Sues Ex-Biz Manager

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on November 18, 2009 1:09 PM

The lawsuit against Nicolas Cage's ex-business manager holds a story sadder than Captain Corelli's Mandolin and older than the Hollywood hills. Gone is the old fashioned movie star who went broke spending his money on wine, women and song. Star version 2.0 - Nick Cage, neé Coppola, is in a heap of financial and legal trouble because he spent a bit too much money on a Gulfstream, an armada of yachts and two crumbling castles. How would you like to get a loan modification on that?

It seems even a big, famous movie star like Nick Cage can't. So he is suing his former business manager, Samuel Levin instead. According Cage's allegations, he is forced to sell major assets and is faced with a huge tax liability due to Levin's "incompetence, misrepresentations and recklessness."  Cage blames his ex-manager for "sending him down the path to financial ruin" and seeks $20 million in damages from Levin. Unfortunately, $20 mill is a drop in the bucket when you spend $33 million on residences in one year.

Levin returned fire. In his counter-suit filed November 12, the accountant claims he is owed $129,000 for recent work. This appears to be chump change, as Levin alleges he warned Cage he would need to make $30 million a year to just maintain his lifestyle. He goes on to accuse Cage of paying no attention to his warning to stop buying real estate, Rolls Royces, jewelry and art. The counter suit also claims Cage "also spent huge sums taking his sizable entourage on costly vacations and three enormous, Gatsby-style parties at his residences." Imagine, a business manager who not only sees the real estate bubble coming, but reads F. Scott Fitzgerald in his spare time. Or at least his lawyer does.

Like many of us, Cage's come-uppance began in '08 when most of his residences went under water and he was less able to borrow money due to the credit crunch.  One current source of woe is the major tax debt Cage has to the IRS. According to CBS.com, The Internal Revenue Service has filed more than $6.6 million in tax liens against the actor this year. People.com reports  it to be $6 million even, owed from '07, and another lien for more than $350,000 in unpaid taxes dating from 2002 to 2004.  The red flag here of course is, what kind of business manager doesn't file correct tax returns? 

The case is set for a hearing in a Beverly Hills (where else) courtroom on Feb 3, 2010. If Cage really wants to start paying off the IRS, he should sell tickets. 

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