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Date of Issue: June 21, 2007

Committee wants $3 million from GSR principals, lawyers, ex-reps

The Official Committee of General Unsecured Creditors for bankrupt GSR Development LLC has lashed out at the principals and former lawyers and representatives of the failed company, demanding a minimum of $3 million from those involved in the $46 million bankruptcy, claiming they operated a "conspiracy."

Attorneys John Anthony and Cheryl Thompson, representing the committee, filed a notice of "adversary proceedings" with the federal bankruptcy court June 14, claiming that these are "actions that would have been brought in state court if unrelated to the bankruptcy."

While Thompson and Anthony did not state the "actions" would have been criminal charges in another court, the allegations would indicate that the "actions" are serious.

Named as defendants in the "adversary proceedings" are GSR principals Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega; attorneys Derek Filcoff and Christopher Hunt of the defunct firm known as "The Real Estate Law Firm;" and businessman Thomas Coelho. Filcoff and Hunt were identified in the documents as licensed Florida attorneys with an office in Sarasota. Coelho, while not an attorney, represented himself to be a lawyer, the notice indicates.

The "adversary proceedings" has 11 allegations against the defendants, including fraudulent transfers, professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, fraudulent inducement and criminal usury.

Anthony and Thompson claimed these allegations arose from numerous financial transactions involving GSR and the defendants, including "questionable" dealings with Bon Eau Development LLC, Longboat Partners, Crossgate Partners, and various other individuals and companies.

Bon Eau was not named as a defendant by the unsecured creditors committee. Federal bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May last month allowed the company to "compromise" itself out of any adversary proceedings after it agreed to contribute $500,000 to help pay for "administrative claims" against GSR. Bon Eau also agreed to give an additional $250,000 for the committee to use in filing claims against the named defendants.

May set a "pre-trial" conference for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, in the federal courthouse at 801 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. The defendants have until July 16 to respond to the allegations.

Efforts to reach Filcoff, Hunt, Coelho, Byrne or Noriega for comment were unsuccessful.