Interim trustee named in David Bergstein case

Both sides agree on former FBI agent Ronald Durkin

A former FBI agent who is a specialist in white collar crime has been chosen as interim trustee to carry out a federal bankruptcy court judge's order to oversee and examine the operations and books of five companies run by David Bergstein, including Capitol Films and ThinkFilm.

The two sides in the action both agreed on Ronald Durkin, managing director of Durkin Forensic, who was first proposed by Bergstein's legal team.

Bergstein, CEO of Pangea Media Group, said Thursday that he insisted on a forensic accountant, as opposed to other candidates suggested by the creditors group that brought the involuntary bankruptcy petition. He said he approved the appointment and would work with Durkin on all appropriate matters.

Bergstein said that he believes Durkin will find that, while there are disputed debts and judgments and some unpaid debts, they are all part of the normal course of business and that his companies all operate in a legal manner.

David Molner, managing director of the Aramid Entertainment Fund and Screen Capital International, who brought together the creditors group that is now composed of some 27 parties, also applauded the appointment of Durkin on Friday.

"We think Ron Durkin has impeccable qualifications and that having someone with 10 years experience in dealing with white-collar crime and fraud seems to make him exceptionally well qualified to make heads or tails of what is going on."

Durkin did not return a call seeking comment but is believed to have started as interim trustee Friday. According to a Web site for his L.A.-based company, he is a CPA with a certification in financial forensics and a certified fraud examiner.

His bio says he retired from the accounting firm of KMPG in 2008 after serving as national partner in charge of fraud and misconduct investigations.

Before that he spent 10 years as a special agent with the FBI. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and an MBA from Cal State Sacramento. In 2007, he received the first ever lifetime achievement award in Forensic Litigation Services form the American Institute of CPA's.
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