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Date of Issue: February 27, 2008

FBI, MCSO attend Byrne bankruptcy hearing

The involuntary bankruptcy of GSR principal Robert Byrne may involve more than just shuffling a few papers, filing a couple of motions and paying off a few creditors.

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office attended the initial court hearing on the bankruptcy Feb. 15, but made no comment.

Island businessman Kent Davis, who along with Islanders Mel and Carol Yudofsky, forced Byrne into the bankruptcy, declined comment on the presence of the enforcement agencies.

The hearing was continued by federal bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney to 8:30 a.m. March 8, at the federal courthouse in Tampa.

But attorney Richard Lee, representing Byrne, filed a summary of liabilities on behalf of Byrne which notes that Byrne’s current monthly income is just $1,500. That’s a far cry from the $42 million personal financial statement the developer displayed to potential GSR investors just a few years ago.

Byrne also claimed in court documents that he has obligations of $169,525 and a total of another $30 million in non-priority unsecured debt. Byrne was not present at the hearing.

According to court documents, he has moved from Anna Maria Island and currently lives on Washington Boulevard in Chicago.

Davis and the Yudofskys brought Byrne into bankruptcy court because of personal guarantees he made when they invested in the now-failed GSR Development LLC real estate company. GSR Development is currently in the final stages of bankruptcy court.

The Davis-Yudofsky claim is for approximately $1 million, although other creditors with a personal guarantee from Byrne may yet join the action.

The federal bankruptcy court annex is at 501 E. Polk St., in Tampa.