GSR principals sued by former pal, while Horizon, Freedom banks join legal fray
Add Horizon Bank, Freedom Bank and well known Island businessman and
hotelier Kent Davis to the growing listing of Islanders,
banks and investors who have filed a lawsuit against GSR Development
LLC and/or its principals, Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega.
a lawsuit May 31 in the Manatee County Circuit Court
against Byrne and Noriega personally, claiming the two men owe him a
total of $600,000 for two promissory notes he gave them on Oct. 3, 2005.
Horizon Bank followed that with a mortgage
foreclosure action on June 8 for $7.2 million against
GSR and Byrne/Noriega over the failed Rosa del Mar condominium project
in Bradenton Beach.
Not to be outdone
by its banking rival, Freedom Bank instituted its own
legal action late against GSR on June 9. Details of the case were unavailable
at press time.
Davis, through a company he owns called
Entrust LLC, gave GSR Development a $200,000 loan,
while in a separate action also on Oct. 3, Davis himself gave the two
In his lawsuit, Davis
claimed the two men "personally
unconditionally guaranteed" both notes and agreed to be personally responsible
The lawsuit claims the two men failed to
pay even the first installment on either note and he
is now demanding a full settlement, including interest, court costs and
Davis said the
filing was done on the advice of his attorney to protect
his interests. He said he wished Noriega and Byrne "nothing
but the best" and still holds them and GSR "in high regard."
Bank’s claim is for $7.2 million,
including interest. The money was reportedly the acquisition amount allowing
GSR to purchase the property.
These latest cases are the 10th and 11th
legal actions in the past four months against either
GSR Development LLC and/or Byrne or Noriega, in addition to a number
of liens filed against GSR, Byrne and/or Noriega properties.
Since Feb. 1, 2006, lawsuits filed against
GSR and/or Byrne and Noriega include:
- An action on May 19 by Chief Management
Inc. of Cortez for $268,000 against property at 401
S. Bay Blvd. in Anna Maria.
Beach resident Cynthia Graeff filed a legal action
on May 23 against GSR, alleging the company owes her $29,500 for a
loan she gave GSR in October 2005.
- A mortgage foreclosure by JD Paradise
LLC for $384,211 against GSR for property at 518
Key Royale Drive in Holmes Beach.
mortgage foreclosure action for $2.1 million by Synovus
Bank of Tampa for the Hibiscus condominium project on Fifth Street
South in Bradenton Beach.
- A lawsuit filed by Sherry Gray
of Bradenton for $67,500.
- An action by Longboat Partners LLC
for default on an $800,000 note.
- Legal action by Ed Furfey of New
Jersey against Byrne and Noriega for an undisclosed
- A lawsuit filed
by James M. Dornan, as trustee of the Dornan Family
Trust, for a $100,000 deposit on the now stagnant Rosa del Mar condominium
project in Bradenton Beach.
- A suit filed by Randy
Moore, also for a $100,000 deposit on a Rosa del
- Liens totaling $1.04
million filed by Spectrum Construction Management
Inc. of Tampa against GSR, Byrne and/or Noriega properties.
The total dollar amount of legal actions
against GSR Development and/or Byrne and Noriega filed
the past four months is $11.66 million, exclusive of the unspecified
amount in the Furfey suit.
rips GSR abilities
In its June 8 lawsuit against GSR Development
and Robert Byrne/Steve Noriega, Horizon Bank pulled
few punches, claiming GSR "does
not have the ability to pay" the $7.2 million owed the bank, nor
the 2004 or 2005 real estate taxes, which have not
Regarding the Rosa del Mar project in Bradenton Beach, the
company has also "stopped its plans to develop the property
as a condominium development," the bank alleged and "does
not have the financial ability to continue developing
Horizon also asked the court to appoint
a receiver to oversee the property during the legal
action "in order to
preserve the property."
In addition to GSR, Byrne and Noriega, Horizon
also named Delta Engineering and Inspection and Roland
and Diane Vildostegui as defendants in the case.