Bergstein Tries to Block Access to Casino Debts

Film financier says unpaid bills at Mandalay are personal

David Bergstein is hitting back at his creditors' efforts to get the skinny on his gambling debts.

In a motion filed Monday, Bergstein’s attorneys argue that court-appointed trustee Ronald Durkin should not be granted access to documents concerning the reported $1 million in unpaid bills and interest payments that the film financier owes Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

They contend that Durkin’s request exceeds the boundaries of bankruptcy laws, because the financial transactions in question are personal and do not relate to the tens of millions of dollars Bergstein’s creditors are seeking to recover.

Neither Bergstein nor his attorney Vincent Marella immediately responded to TheWrap’s requests for comment, but in the filing reads: “The motion is additionally deficient because the Interim Trustee makes no attempt to limit the scope of his request to matters that relate to the Alleged Debtors.”

Bergstein has been entrenched in a nearly year-long stan- off with 30 creditors – including advertisers, publicists and the Writers Guild of America West — who claim that he has engaged in elaborate financial fraud. The debts Bergstein allegedly piled up at Mandalay surfaced as part of these legal proceedings.

Bergstein has reportedly paid the Vegas casino back some of the money he owes. The true extent of his debts, however, extends beyond Mandalay. He allegedly stiffed several casinos for almost $3 million in recent years — including bounced checks written to the Wynn and Venetian. As TheWrap has reported, those unpaid bills led to Bergstein’s arrest in Florida last November on fraud charges.

This latest legal motion hits on the heels of a major courtroom setback for the film financier. Two of the five Bergstein controlled companies named in the suit were declared bankrupt on Tuesday.

At the same time his legal troubles have mounted, Bergstein has been a key advisor in business partner Ron Tutor’s $660 million bid to buy Miramax.

(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)