Posted: Monday, March 5, 2018 – 10:11 PM
(CNS) – Former USC and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and actress Holly Robinson-Peete reached a settlement with a man who sued the couple for more than $1 million, alleging he was owed the money as his share from his investment in a planned beer distribution deal.
Orlando J. Castano Jr. filed the action in Los Angeles Superior Court in December 2016, alleging embezzlement, misrepresentation, breach of contract and a violation of the Corporate Securities law.
On Friday, Castano’s lawyer, J.D. Sanchez, told Judge Malcolm Mackey that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged.
The suit stated that Peete approached Castano in February 2009 about being part of an agreement to buy the Miller Lite New Mexico distribution business from the Maloof family, whose members are longtime investors in real estate. Castano said he knew Peete for 25 years and trusted him, but they had never done business together.
Peete convinced Castano to invest $1 million, in part by telling him that billionaire Ronald Burkle was the major investor in the $138 million purchase, the suit states. Peete also promised Castano a 10 percent return on his investment and that he would be put on the payroll of Peete’s company, Peete Distribution Group LLC, according to the plaintiff.
By May 2009, the deal had not closed, so Peete began making payments to Castano under the terms of two promissory notes made by the former quarterback, according to the suit.
In March 2010, with the deal still not completed, Peete said he was in talks with the Maloofs for two other beer distribution units, the suit stated.
Peete, who played 16 years in the NFL, continued making payments for five years, although some installments were more than six months late, according to Castano’s court papers, which said Robinson-Peete told him she was “working her butt off” and that she and her husband were trying to get back on track with the payments.
Meanwhile, Peete said his wife “would close a big deal with Oprah Winfrey to do a reality show on her network about him and Robinson-Peete and their family,” the suit stated.
The Peetes stopped making payments to Castano in September 2016, the suit alleged. In the meantime, the Peetes have paid for their daughter to go to Columbia University, vacationed with Magic Johnson in Italy and celebrated their anniversary in Monte Carlo, according to the complaint.