Big-screen star Dwayne Johnson is named in a fraud lawsuit filed in South Florida against his financial advisor ex-wife, Dany Garcia.
Garcia, a prominent alumnus of the University of Miami, allegedly bilked an investor out of $1.8 million, according to Miami-Dade County court records.
And the investor’s money originally came from the Cuban government, who paid millions after shooting down a Brothers to the Rescue plane piloted by Miami resident Carlos Costa in 1996.
Johnson, who briefly returned to his wrestling personae The Rock in Wrestlemania 28, is named in the lawsuit not as a co-defendant but as a “co-conspirator” for having benefited monetary gains from Garcia’s alleged wrongdoings.
Also named in the suit are Garcia’s Miami-based financial advisory company, JDM Partners, and accountant Emery Sheer.
According to federal records, JDM Partners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year.
Miami resident Mirta Mendez, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, claims Garcia and The Rock were more than just business acquaintances. Mendez says they were friends and trusted Garcia to invest her money in low-risk, retirement-type investments. The paperwork shows Mendez’ cash was loaned to real estate developers.
Mendez claims Garcia used Dwayne Johnson’s celebrity status to lure investors.
Garcia provided Mendez with deadlines for interests to be paid but nothing has been paid so far.
Mendez says she decided to entrust Garcia with her money after a family member was hired to work for JDM.
Garcia and Sheer denied the allegations in their legal responses to the lawsuit, and have asked for the case to be thrown out. They say they lost money when the real estate market crashed.
Garcia Johnson’s attorney Richard Barbara told Gossip Extra: “This is an unfortunate situation that mirrored the real estate crisis throughout the world. There was no fraud, no trying to dupe investors and no taking advantage of a celebrity.
“While my clients (JDM and Garcia) are shocked and disappointed at the nature of the allegations, they look forward to zealously defending the case.”
NBC 6 reported Mendez’ cash came from the Cuban government, who paid her millions after her son’s plane was shot down by Cuban jets in 1996.
The Rock is currently in South Florida to film Pain & Gain, a movie with Mark Wahlberg and Ed Harris.