I have successfully represented Plaintiffs and Defendants in more than 100 Adversary Proceedings. In many of these cases, I was able to get the case dismissed by filing one or more Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss. Cases in which we achieved this result include, but are not limited to, Marissa Land et al v. David Levesque, Adversary No. 5:23-ap-05007 (alleged debtor obtained money by fraud and alleged debtor concealed assets), Edward Akselrod v. Hamid Reisi Adversary No. 1:09-ap-01429-KT (unintelligible complaint), Robin Kristie Nicholls v. Nasima Sharifi Adversary No.1:09-ap-01535-GM (alleged Defendant injured Plaintiff while driving drunk but Defendant was not driving, she loaned her car to her son who was driving), NattyMac Capital v. Jonathan Graham Adversary No.1:10-ap-01006 (alleged false representation in writing to a bank). Deok Rye Yoon v. Jennie Santa Maria, Adversary No. : 2:11-ap-02541-BB (alleged debtor obtained money by fraud).
In other adversary proceedings, I was able to win a summary judgment in favor of my client. A recent example of this is Sari Taicher v. Caroline Taicher, Adversary No. 2:21-ap-01170 (alleged debtor concealed assets). In bringing the Summary Judgment Motion, I successfully argued that there was no real dispute about the material facts involved in the adversary proceeding. Winning this motion saved my client the expense and risk of going to trial.
Many times, we have successfully settled adversary proceedings. Examples include Sonaphi, LLC et al vs David Levesque, Adversary No. 5:23-ap-05006 (alleged transfer and concealment of assets and alleged fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity — I settled this claim for $0.00), John Levin, M.D. v. John Gordon Jones, Adversary No. 1:18-ap-01075-MT (alleged false financial statement in writing and alleged hidden assets), Sean Rooks et al v. Charles R. Parker (alleged embezzlement and larceny and alleged willful and malicious injury), and Roughan & Associates at Linc, Inc. v. Emma Richardson, Adversary No. 2:20-ap-01640 (alleged money obtained by false pretenses and alleged willful and malicious injury).
We are not afraid to go to trial on Adversary Proceeding Cases.
On July 28, 2023, after a four-day trial, Judge Theodore Albert issued his Memorandum of Decision After Trial in favor of our client Joseph Samec and against Debtor and Defendant Guy Griffithe, finding that Griffithe’ s debt to our client arising from the RTSI/SMRB/GAP investment is nondischargeable under §§523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(19). The case is entitled Joseph Samec v. Guy S. Griffithe, Case No. 8:19-ap-01199-TA. Plaintiff Joseph Samec was the victim of a fraudulent investment scheme involving fictitious securities in a cannabis venture. Prior to Guy Griffithe filing bankruptcy in an attempt to discharge more than $4,500,000.00 in debt, The SEC determined that at least 25 investors had lost money as a result of Guy Griffithe’s violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and it obtained a final judgment against him for $5,312,071.53. However, the SEC never never collected even one penny from Guy Griffithe. At the time Guy Griffithe filed bankruptcy, he owned 2 Porsches and was leasing a Cadillac and a Ferrari. Still, he testified that he could not afford to pay any of the SEC judgment against him. He and his lawyer Anerio Altman, who describes himself accurately as a “short angry little bankruptcy attorney advocating for debtor’s rights,” were aggressive in defending Guy Griffithe, even when their arguments strained and broke all credibility. For example, Mr. Altman argued that the purchase of shares agreement was rescinded and that, even though Griffithe never gave Samec his money back, the rescission should absolve him from having to give Samec his money back. This argument was rejected by the Court. Plaintiff submitted evidence of multiple lawsuits against Griffithe, including one from an ex-girlfriend suing to get back the $50,000.00 that she loaned Guy Griffithe to pay his bankruptcy attorney. Griffithe claimed that she had forgiven the debt, and testified that she broke into his home, took a gun from his safe and demanded sex at gun point!
The final, nondischargeable judgment against Guy Griffithe and in favor of my client Joseph Samec is expected to be in excess of $130,000.00. Once a debt has been determined to be nondischargeable, the judgment debtor can never get out of paying it. Future bankruptcies (Guy S. Griffithe has already filed 2 bankruptcy cases) will not wipe out the debt, Here is an explanation of the 2 code sections cited by the Court in its decision. 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(2)(a) provides that
(a)A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1192  1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt—
(2)for money, property, services, or an extension, renewal, or refinancing of credit, to the extent obtained by—
(A) false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor’s or an insider’s financial condition.” Judge Albert determined that Guy S. Griffithe obtained money from Joseph Samec by false pretenses, a false representation or actual fraud.
11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(19) provides that
“(a)A discharge under section 727, 1141, 1192  1228(a), 1228(b), or 1328(b) of this title does not discharge an individual debtor from any debt— . . .
(i) the violation of any of the Federal securities laws (as that term is defined in section 3(a)(47) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), any of the State securities laws, or any regulation or order issued under such Federal or State securities laws; or
(ii) common law fraud, deceit, or manipulation in connection with the purchase or sale of any security; and
(B)results, before, on, or after the date on which the petition was filed, from—
(i) any judgment, order, consent order, or decree entered in any Federal or State judicial or administrative proceeding;
(ii) any settlement agreement entered into by the debtor; or
(iii) any court or administrative order for any damages, fine, penalty, citation, restitutionary payment, disgorgement payment, attorney fee, cost, or other payment owed by the debtor”
Judge Albert determined that Guy S. Griffithe’s debt to my client Joseph Samec arose out of a violation of Federal and state securities laws.
Defendant’s counsel Anerio Altmen has a strong resemblance to Emmy Award winning Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage. I don’t know if Anerio Altman believed all the arguments that he made on behalf of his client, but I believe that he did the best that he could with what he had to work with. Guy S. Griffithe has a podcast called “The Bald Fox,” and on his website www.thebaldfox.com he uses a cartoon logo of a bald man that looks a lot like Guy S. Griffithe. He claims to have “cunning charm.” His many victims now know him to be sly like a fox. I am proud to hold Guy Griffithe accountable for the fraud that he perpetrated against my client.
On March 8, 2019, after a three-day trial, Judge Martin Barash decided 100% in favor or our client Dr. Morris Shapow on a 727 Denial of Discharge Case. The adversary proceeding is entitled West Valley Medical Partners, LLC vs Morris Shapow aka Mike Shapow , Case No. 1:16-ap-01021-MB. Plaintiff is a commercial lessor that had previously obtained a $474,000 judgment against my client on a breach of contract action in Los Angeles Superior Court. In this action, Plaintiff and its counsel sought to deny my client’s discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 723(a)(2)(A), 727 (a)(3) and 727(a)(4)(A). The Plaintiff alleged that my client, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor, transferred, or concealed property of the debtor, within one year before the date of the filing of the petition. The Plaintiff further alleged that my client concealed records and knowingly and fraudulently filed false bankruptcy schedules. In a 42-page Memorandum of Decision Following Trial for publication, Judge Barash analyzed the claims, the law and the evidence in detail and concluded that “Plaintiff failed to meet its burden establishing that Defendant’s discharge should be withheld. . . Accordingly, the Court will enter a separate judgment in favor of Defendant on the entire First Amended Complaint.”
My client had more than a million dollars of unsecured debt and had been hounded by creditors for many years. Now, because of the work that my firm and I did for him, my client will get his discharge and will get the fresh start that he is entitled to.
I try to make sure that no one profits from suing my clients. In this case, opposing counsel Jamie R. Schloss took the case on a contingency fee and recovered nothing for himself and nothing for his client. Along the way, the court sanctioned him $150.00 for his failure to timely meet and confer regarding the pretrial stipulation.
Gary Grabel, The principal of Plaintiff West Valley Medical Partners, LLC, offered testimony against my client, but I was able to impeach his testimony on cross-examination. Here is how Judge Barash describes Mr. Grabel’s testimony: “As for the testimony of Gary Grabel that Defendant discussed with him sometime in 2009 the manner in which one should hold title to property, the Court does not accord much weight to such testimony. Mr. Grabel, as Plaintiff’s principal and longtime adversary of Defendant, has a material interest in the outcome of this proceeding and on the issue of Defendant’s ownership of the Wilshire Condominium. Moreover, Mr. Grabel’s testimony regarding the alleged conversation differed on direct examination and cross-examination. On direct examination, Mr. Grabel testified that Defendant told him he should hold title to his house in a limited liability company or corporation so he could avoid creditors. Trial Tr., March 2 at 17:21 – 18:1. However, on cross-examination, Mr. Grabel testified that Defendant said that he held title to his own house in the name of an entity to avoid his creditors. Trial Trial., March 2 at 20:17-24. Such conflicting testimony by an interested witness is of little probative value in establishing clear and convincing proof to overcome the record title presumption.”
In another important trial, American Contractors Indemnity Company v. Andre Haghverdian, Case No. 2:13-ap-01363-PC, the Plaintiff sought to deny the discharge of my client pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(5) and (a)(6). The Plaintiff alleged that our client transferred, removed, or concealed property of the estate, concealed, destroyed or failed to keep adequate financial records, made false oaths as specified in 11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(4), failed to explain satisfactorily his alleged loss of assets, and refused to obey lawful orders of the Bankruptcy Court. Plaintiff took extensive discovery, including document requests, interrogatories, requests for admission and numerous depositions. After a four day trial, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Peter Carroll ruled completely in favor of my client. Judge Carroll’s Memorandum Decision and Judgment in favor or my client were entered on May 9, 2014. Judge Carroll ordered that “the Complaint of American Contractors Indemnity Company for Denial of Discharge Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 727(a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5) and (a)(6) I dismissed with prejudice.” Because of me and the work that my firm and I did for him, my client was able to discharge more than $800,000.00 in debt and finally get rid of a very aggressive, persistent creditor.
In another notable trial, Rose Zoltek-Jick and Todd Jick v. James Robert Swan Case No. 2:09-ap-02026-BR, the Plaintiffs alleged that our client willfully and maliciously injured them by intentionally violating a court order and demanded no less than $330,000.00 to settle the matter. We went to trial and won completely. The Plaintiffs got nothing. In the Judgment entered May 4, 2011, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Barry Russell found that the debtor did not intend to injure the Plaintiffs nor did he intend to injure their property. He granted judgment in favor of our client and against the Plaintiffs.
In a significant Chapter 13 Adversary Proceeding case, Randy Nachtrieb v. Jan M. Hahn, 8:09-ap-01403-TA, I represented a Creditor Plaintiff and obtained a judgment against the debtor for $250,000.00 in which the court determined the debt to be nondischargeable under 523 (a) (2), (4) and (6) (false pretenses, false representations and actual fraud while acting in a fiduciary capacity, and willful and malicious injury inflicted upon the Plaintiff by the Defendant).
I recorded an Abstract of Judgment and collected most of the money owed on the judgment when the debtor sold her home in 2012.