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Date of Issue: February 22, 2007

GSR creditors on the attack

Not content with reading financial reports from GSR Development's own accounting firm and restructuring officer on where the money and equity in the now-bankrupt company is, the "Official Committee of General Unsecured Creditors" in the GSR bankruptcy case has hired its own forensic accountant to explore the company's finances and prospects for reorganization.

Federal bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May last week approved the appointment of Steven Oscher and Oscher Consulting P.A. of Tampa as the committee's forensic accountant. May said Oscher's employment is "necessary and would be in the best interest of the estate, and that the case is one justifying the employment of Oscher."

But the committee didn't stop there with its efforts to question GSR's financial practices.

Creditor's committee attorney Cheryl Thompson filed a motion Feb. 14 asking May to allow real estate appraiser Paul Runyan to "offer rebuttal testimony" in connection with GSR restructuring officer William Maloney's unspecified testimony Feb. 13 regarding his opinion of the appraisal.

Runyan, along with real estate appraiser James Boyd of ValueNet in Sarasota, did the original appraisal of Villa Rosa in February 2005 and appraised the 14 lots comprising the proposed development at between $6.7 million and $7 million.

In testimony Feb. 9 before the bankruptcy court, GSR principal Steve Noriega admitted that the company got a loan based upon the ValueNet appraisal amount.

When contacted, Boyd said his company had done several other appraisals for GSR, but he couldn't recall all of the different properties. He also noted he's been a real estate appraiser since 1972 and licensed in Florida since 1991. The company does about 1,000 real estate appraisals annually, he said.

Efforts to reach Thompson for comment were unsuccessful. Attorney John Anthony, who works with Thompson and also represents the creditor's committee, indicated Runyan's testimony would be available this week.

The unsecured debts of GSR are an estimated $6 million, according to court documents. A number of Island residents are unsecured creditors of the bankrupt real estate development company, including Mel and Carole Yudofsky of Key Royale in Holmes Beach and Kent Davis, the former owner of the Siam Garden Resort in Anna Maria. Davis is owed a reported $600,000 from GSR.

In other GSR business, May officially signed an order Feb. 12 appointing RoseBay Real Estate as an exclusive agent for a number of GSR properties on the Island (The Islander, Jan. 31).

May also ordered that the last day to file a proof of any claim against GSR would be Feb. 20. After that date, anyone who believes he or she is owed money by GSR will be too late to have that claim registered with the bankruptcy court.

GSR filed bankruptcy on July 13, 2006, claiming $44 million in assets against $33 million in liabilities.


RoseBay may get Villa Rosa listings

GSR attorney Richard Prosser filed a motion with the federal bankruptcy court last week requesting that RoseBay Real Estate be given the exclusive listings for 14 of the 15 lots comprising the company's Villa Rosa project in Anna Maria. RoseBay already has the exclusive listings for a number of GSR properties on the Island.

The total value of the 14 lots - which have not yet been officially subdivided and recorded with the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court - is approximately $9 million, some $2 million more than a February 2005 appraisal of the property that included all 15 parcels.

The lone parcel that would not be listed with RoseBay is the model home that NBA player Theo Ratliff has claimed in court documents that he has a deposit and contract to purchase.