After being criminally charged in February 2021, long-time Scientologist David Gentile, the sole owner and member of GPB Capital Holdings LLC, voluntarily resigned his positions as CEO of both GPB Capital and its operating arm Highline Management.
In the same time frame, the court appointed Joseph Gardemal III as the Monitor to oversee GPB’s affairs and protect shareholder value.
In June 2022, David Gentile attempted to seize control of the company by appointing three of his associates as new managers of the firm. Monitor Gardemal responded by asking the court to immediately place GPB Capital into receivership so that the remaining assets could be sold, the firm wound down, and the proceeds distributed to investors.
The matter is now before US Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon of the US Eastern District Court of New York (EDNY). Case 1:21-cv-0058-MKB-VMS.
The three associates Gentile attempted to appointed as managers are Rick Brown, Michael Fasano, and Gentile’s fellow Scientologist Matt Judkin who was a defendant in a Texas foreclosure assistance scam. Judkin and several other Scientologists signed a permanent injunction and paid $750,000 in restitution and fines to settle that case.
Scientologist and attorney Steven Hayes recently filed a pro hac vice motion to appear in Judge Scanlon’s court on behalf of Gentile’s three associates.
As a matter of course, pro hac vice motions are almost always routinely granted. However, it appears Hayes tried to pull a fast one here.
In his pro hac filing, Hayes stated that he needed to appear for his clients in order to file a request for mediation; respond to any opposition; and to appear on behalf of his clients if mediation was granted.
The problem is that Hayes’ clients are non-parties to the case and thus have no standing to request mediation or anything else. Accordingly, Judge Scanlon delivered a scathing rebuke to attorney Hayes and schooled the dilletante in basic points of law:
Steven Hayes’ motion to appear pro hac vice was denied as it was a transparent attempt to pull a fast one in a US Federal court — which is never a good idea.
Hayes’ three clients now have reason for concern given his failure to get a simple pro hac vice motion granted.
The SEC press release of February 4, 2021 summarizes the SEC’s case against David Gentile and his co-defendants: