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SEC INVESTIGATES ALPINE PICTURES.

Byline: Dave McNary Daily News Staff Writer

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into Sherman Oaks-based Alpine Pictures, a production company that raises money for its movies through a telemarketing operation.

The Screen Actors Guild confirmed Tuesday that SEC attorney Renee Lee had subpoenaed records from SAG on May 9 in a search for production records, budget estimates and correspondence relating to Alpine's film, ``Lord Protector,'' a sword-and-sorcery fantasy shot under a SAG contract.

``We have complied with the subpoena,'' said SAG spokeswoman Katherine Moore. The SEC and Alpine Pictures had no comment on the report.

Alpine was founded by film producers and brothers Ryan and Roland Carroll. The Carrolls also operate a telemarketing operation, First National Information Network, which raises funds from small investors.

Moore said Alpine produced ``Lord Protector'' under a SAG low-budget contract, signed in October 1995, which offers producers a 13 percent discount on SAG wage minimums. To qualify, producers are required to show paperwork that demonstrates the film will be made for less than $2 million.

Moore said SAG is aware of published reports that Alpine told potential investors that ``Lord Protector'' would cost as much as $6 million. ``We are obviously interested if someone exploits the low-budget agreement,'' she said.

Moore said if the agreement has been violated, SAG would require immediate payment to bring the rates of pay into compliance.

The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday that Delaware, Indiana and Michigan have ordered Alpine and its subsidiaries to ``cease and desist'' from calling residents in those states to offer them partnerships in the company's movie projects. In each case, Alpine or its subsidiaries were accused of violating state securities laws by failing to register the partnerships with state securities officials, the trade paper said.

The report also said the Delaware State Attorney General's Office filed a 29-count complaint in March against Alpine, including allegations that salesmen for a subsidiary ``falsely represented'' that an investment in the subsidiary would constitute a ``conservative investment.''
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 21, 1997
Words:331
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