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Vancouver, Canada-based Landlord Onni Group Is Sued By Tenant Mob Scene For Breach of Lease and For Snagging PPP Funds
- Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2020
Mob Scene is One of Hollywood's Leading Entertainment Marketing Agencies
Mob Scene, one of Hollywood’s top entertainment creative marketing agencies, is suing its landlord the Onni Group, due to the recent and highly improper actions taken against the agency by Onni due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Mob Scene is located at 5750 Wilshire Blvd #530, Los Angeles, CA 90036. The agency is a tenant within a building complex owned by the Onni Group of Vancouver, CN. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the LA County Stay-at-Home orders, Mob Scene, along with countless other LA companies, was forced to instantly convert its 120 strong work force from an office setting to a work-from-home scenario on March 20, 2020. Because of the Pandemic and subsequent shutdowns of the film and TV production industry, along with the closing of all movie theaters, Mob Scene’s sources of revenue suddenly began to shrink without warning.
As a result in this change of revenue, executives with Mob Scene began a conversation with their landlord the Onni Group in mid-March, during which time they discussed the pandemic and how it would likely affect future monthly rent payments by Mob Scene to the Onni Group. The two companies agreed that Mob Scene could pay the Onni Group 75% of its April rent. Mob Scene execs then began to negotiate in good faith an offer which would allow the company to pay full rent for some months and deferred rent for other months – these deferred rent payments to be paid back under the guidelines of the country and city ordinances.
Onni refused the offer and demanded full rent payment for May, after realizing that Mob Scene had received funds from the government Payment Protection Plan (PPP). Onni refused to allow Mob Scene any rent deferral, which is specifically authorized by county and city ordinances.
Then, once again against city and county ordinances, the Onni Group directly accessed from Mob Scene’s bank through an existing line of credit a significant portion of the PPP funds that Mob Scene had received from the U.S. Government primarily to meet its payroll. The funds pulled covered the full amount of Mob Scene’s May rent and the remaining 25% of April’s deferred rent, thus denying Mob Scene any rent deferral during the Pandemic shutdown.
During the whole process of negotiations, Onni demanded Mob Scene sign a release and waiver clearing Onni of any past, present or future damages or legislation pertaining to the Covid-19 Pandemic, against county and city ordinances. Onni also demanded a “security interest” in Mob Scene’s PPP funds and any Covid-related funds Mob Scene might receive from the U.S. Government – funds that were approved by Congress with the specific intent of helping U.S.-based companies maintain the salaries of American citizens.
“We’ve been trying to negotiate in good faith with our landlord the Onni Group since the shutdown began,” says Tom Grane, Mob Scene’s CEO. “But unfortunately we are not even close with this unreasonable group in finding a mutually beneficial solution. It’s shocking to us that the Onni Group took a chunk of our PPP money, which was given to us by the U.S. Government primarily for our payroll and to benefit our employees, and immediately moved the money to a bank account with a Canadian beneficiary.”
With no resolution in sight at present, the executives with Mob Scene were compelled to file a lawsuit against the Onni Group for breach of lease and asking for punitive damages, as well as a judge’s order that Mob Scene may defer upcoming lease payments, all in accordance with government ordinances. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on 6/19/20 as Case Number 20STCV23339.
About MOB SCENE
Mob Scene, the winner of numerous Clio “Key Art Awards” for Excellence in Entertainment Marketing, is more than just a full-service Hollywood agency. The company, founded in 2006, is a creative destination with a passionate and collaborative environment that inspires imagination, cultivates top talent, and delivers premium service.
Mob Scene has diverse experience that spans advertising, branded integration, traditional film and television production, and post-production. The agency’s creative capabilities run the gamut: from short Instagram videos to 90-minute live broadcasts to complete 360-degree campaigns, as well as trailers, promos, documentaries, and unique, behind-the-scenes added value content. In addition, Mob Scene has also produced five television shows.