The New York State Attorney General is close to bringing a criminal indictment against Broadway producer Adela Holzer on investment fraud charges, according to her attorney, Roy M. Cohn.
The office of New York State Attorney General Louis J. Lefowitz and the Securities and Exchange Commission for several months have been conducting separate investigations into complaints by numerous individuals that they were defrauded by Holzer when they invested money with her in non-theatrical ventures.
The amount involved is now put as high as $15 million. The investments supposedly included real estate ventures in Holzer's native Spain as well as cement, truck and other commodityshipments to Indonesia. And the well-known producer allegedly indicated returns of up to 400 per cent on the deals, with some initial investors getting paid off handsomely.
Cohn said today that he had tried to make an offer on behalf of Holzer to the attorney general's office to secure the investments that have not been paid off but that he was unable to even arrange a meeting to discuss the proposal. "You don't need to use much logic," he said, to know that an indictment would soon be forthcoming.
Dec lining to discuss the specifies of the charges, Cohn, in a statement said that "for many years Mrs. Holzer had made a great deal of money for countless satisfied investors and associates" but now that the gang-up against her is underway it has become virtually impossible for her to do what she wants to do which is to secure the outstanding investments in every possible way."
"We are in a daily legal battle with agencies and lawyers trying to out race each other for a news story," he continued, "and we just have to take the punches as they come."
"All I know is that the investigation is active and it's still being pursued," was the only comment a spokesman for Lefkowitz would make. But sources said that a grand jury in Manhattan has recently been hearing testimony on the Holzer case.
The SEC had no comment at all on its probe. Separately sources indicated that the attorney general and the SEC are both close to bringing respectively a criminal and civil action against Holzer.
In a related development an involuntary petition of bankruptcy was filed Friday against Holzer, charging her with "fraud, conversion and breach of contract" in connection with $151,000 invested with her in 1975 and 1976.
The action, with charges Holzer is insolvent, is but the latest in a series of private court actions brought against her by individuals who claim they were defrauded.
The purpose of the suit filed Friday in Federal district court here was to prevent Holzer, who first came to prominence as a backer of the 1960s rock musical. "Hair," from shifting any of her assers to favored creditors, including her husband, shipping magnate Peter A. Holzer.
According to the petition, brought by William M. Chace and Richard and Jutta Ellingboe. Holzer has already transferred her interest in the couple's 72nd St. townhouse to her husband as well as her interest in "Monsters," and off-Broadway play produced earlier this year, and also allowed him to enter a judgment against her last March for $757,000.
The transfers were made "with actual intent to hinder, delay and defraud the bankrupts creditors" while enabling Peter Holzer "to obtain a greater percentage of his debt than some other creditors of the same class,," the filing said.