David Bergstein aims to block casino records

$1 miliion in gambling debt could be exposed

An attorney for David Bergstein is asking the federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles to stop its court-appointed trustee overseeing five companies Bergstein controlled from getting records relating to his financial transactions with the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Separately, an attorney for the bankruptcy court trustee, Ronald Durkin, filed a motion to force a former Bank of America branch manager to testify and produce documents related to dozens of accounts that Bergstein, his related entities and associates had at a branch in Newbury Park, Calif.

The filing made Wednesday by Bergstein charges Durkin with violating a court confidentiality order by summarizing information about his business with Mandalay in a public court filing. "The disclosure of private information to the public is precisely what the confidentiality order was intended to prevent," Bergstein charges.

The transactions involving Mandalay Bay have been reported as involving large gambling debts and interest charges -- around $1 million -- at least some of which Bergstein has since paid. Mandalay also earlier this year filed a suit charging Bergstein had transferred some of his personal assets to try and keep them from being seized by the casino.

Bergstein said in his latest filing these transactions have nothing to do with the federal bankruptcy case and by seeking this information the trustee is violating his privacy.

On Wednesday, federal court Judge Barry Russell granted a summary judgment that put two of the five companies that Bergstein controlled, Thinkfilm and Capitol Films, into formal bankruptcy. Three other companies are still part of an involuntary bankruptcy action, which continues.

On Sept. 30 the judge had granted the trustee's request to force Mandalay to cooperate. Bergstein's filing seeks to reverse that.

In his effort filed Thursday to compel former Bank of America branch manager Charles E. Chambers to be interviewed under oath and provide all related documents by Nov. 4, Durkin said he wants information on numerous accounts opened at the Newbury Park branch from 2002 on by Bergstein, his assistant Frymi Biedak, his former attorney Susan Tregub and his companies, including Pangea Media Group. "Millions of dollars were transferred into, from, and between the accounts," according to the filing.

Durkin also wants information on how and when Chambers was employed by Bergstein or his companies after he left the bank, and how much he was compensated.

Durkin sent a letter Sept. 29 asking Chambers to respond voluntarily but said in the filing he got no response. The trustee said whatever information he got would also be considered confidential under the court's order.

There was no immediate response to requests for comment sent to attorneys for Bergstein and separately for Durkin.