Creditors call for Bergstein trustee
Say film exec has not provided required documentationCreditors suing David Bergstein, Ron Tutor and companies they control including Capitol and Thinkfilm said in their latest legal filing that "the appointment of an interim trustee is needed now more than ever in order to put a stop to the gross mismanagement ... that Bergstein has perpetrated for so long."
They were responding Friday to opposition to the suit and the appointment of a trustee to take control of Bergstein's businesses filed earlier this week in a case scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.
The new filing by the creditors says Bergstein's opposition is based on only two points -- challenging the merits of the involuntary bankruptcy petition and charging that Bergstein's former attorney Susan Tregub is guilty of improperly disclosing privileged attorney-client communications, which made the bankruptcy action possible.
The creditors say they have a legal right to file the action and call the charges against Tregub "frivolous and unfounded."
"It is unfortunate (and telling)," says the suit, "that (Bergstein and company) resort to sideshow tactics rather than offer the court some arguments -- any argument -- in response to the motion."
The creditors say Bergstein and company still hasn't shown a system to meet tax reporting obligations; a move to pay taxes withheld from employees wages; proof they have not bounced employees' paychecks; and evidence they have a proper accounting system for a multinational business.
They charge there is nothing to refute allegations that Bergstein regularly moved large sums of cash out of the companies' accounts and never properly accounted for where it went and that he gave a Las Vegas casino markers for at least $950,000 to cover gambling debts.
In her declaration, Tregub says her e-mail account is private and not part of Bergstein's company systems. That means, she says, that copies of e-mails that are exhibits in the opposition to the bankruptcy were obtained improperly and possibly illegally.
Tregub says Bergstein does not deny he owes her $100,000 for legal work she provided. She says he actually owes her $200,000.
Bergstein also claims that the former CFO, COO and controller who declared that there is no proper accounting system, and that they were denied information needed to do their jobs, were kept in the dark by Bergstein because they were "disgruntled" and "incompetent."
The mere fact that these arguments were offered up "is the refuge of a party who wishes to challenge credibility but does not have a good foundation to do so."
The creditors also counter claims by Bergstein and his attorneys that they don't have enough time to respond to the various charges.
They say that the cancellation of a planned foreclosure sale of more than 800 movies was not voluntary, as Bergstein's side claims, but was required by law after the bankruptcy filing. Now, say the creditors, Bergstein wants to claim that canceling the sale makes their motion for bankruptcy "moot," but in fact they say it only proves again their contention that a trustee must be appointed quickly to preserve and protect what is left of the assets needed to satisfy millions in unpaid debts, taxes and back wages.
E-mails and calls to attorneys representing Bergstein, Tutor and the five companies who are being sued were not returned by deadline.