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Date of Issue: September 07, 2006

Island woman wins judgment against GSR, principals

Island resident Cynthia Graeff has been awarded a $29,500 default judgment against GSR Development LLC and principals Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega individually.

Graeff, a longtime food server for a variety of popular Island restaurants, had invested the $25,000 she had saved for her son’s college education in GSR and had a personal guarantee on the money from both Byrne and Noriega.

Efforts by Graeff to obtain a refund on her own were apparently unsuccessful, and she resorted to legal action.

The default judgment in favor of Graeff was awarded by the court Aug. 30. A final hearing and judgment will be held Sept. 11. Graeff was represented in court by the law firm of Lutz, Telfair and Bobo.

Graeff filed her lawsuit against Byrne, Noriega and GSR on May 23, just seven weeks before the company went into voluntary bankruptcy on July 13.

GSR has filed documents in federal bankruptcy court claiming assets of $47 million against debts of $33 million, but has alleged it is unable to continue business and pay creditors because of a lawsuit filed against the company, Byrne and Noriega by minority GSR partner Ed Furfey of New Jersey.

GSR claims that Furfey’s lawsuit blocked the sale of its Villa Rosa property in Anna Maria to a Sarasota investor and forced the company into bankruptcy action because it had no operating capital.