Mob Experience faces new lawsuit over unpaid bills
29 September 2011
Financial problems expanded Thursday for the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana resort, with a new lawsuit filed over unpaid advertising bills and seven investors charging they’ve also been harmed.
A flurry of court activity was expected to continue through Thursday afternoon as Experience developer Jay Bloom prepared for a showdown in Clark County District Court on Friday against creditors of the Experience.
Each side accuses the other of looting the tourist attraction that opened this spring.
Bloom, who removed himself from the business this summer after it was unable to pay its bills, claims he still owns the Experience and wants current management replaced.
The creditors, Vion Operations LLC and Strategic Funding Source Inc., want Bloom to be forced to stop interfering with the Experience and to stop claiming he still owns a controlling stake of the Experience.
Vion and Strategic want a special master to be appointed to conduct a thorough accounting of the Mob Experience parent company Murder Inc.
Vion and Strategic want Bloom and his wife Carolyn Farkas to share the cost of the special master’s accounting with Vion and Strategic.
Attorneys for Bloom and Farkas say they don’t object to the appointment of a special master as long as the master is paid by Vion and Strategic.
Vion and Strategic are factoring companies that purchased $4 million in the Experience’s future receivables for $3.1 million.
They call themselves "secured creditors" and VEGAS INC calls them "creditors" for two reasons: The definition in federal law of a "creditor" includes anyone claiming to be owed money by a debtor; and because they have filed public financing statements recording their Merchant Cash Advance agreements with Murder Inc.
Bloom insists Vion and Strategic are not creditors.
"They purchased a percentage of future cash flows for up front funds," Bloom said. "Their funds are sales proceeds, not a loan. They are not note holders and not creditors."
Separately, at least the 10th lawsuit alleging unpaid bills by Murder Inc. and/or Bloom’s company, Eagle Group Holdings LLC, was filed Tuesday in Clark County District Court.
Billboard company Lamar Central Outdoor LLC seeks in the suit damages that are unspecified, but that are greater than $50,000.
The lawsuit says that on behalf of Murder Inc. and Eagle Group Holdings, Bloom executed contracts in December and February for Lamar to provide billboard advertising, that Lamar performed under the contracts and that the defendants have failed to pay for a portion of Lamar’s bills.
Of the 10 lawsuits pending against Bloom and/or Eagle Group and Murder Inc., all but one remain active. These suits were filed by parties ranging from family members of mob figures who provided artifacts to the Experience to investors to contractors that built the tourist attraction.
Separately, seven investors in the Experience intervened in the Vion v. Bloom lawsuit Thursday, saying they want to assert their own claims.
These investors’ complaints are against "Does" and "Roe Corporations" – an indication they’re still trying to figure out who they want to sue.
Their complaints incorporate both the allegations leveled by Vion and Strategic Funding against Bloom – and Bloom’s counterclaim against Vion, Strategic Funding and current Mob Experience manager Louis Ventre.
The investors said in their complaints that after the discovery or fact-finding process, they will "seek leave of the court to substitute the real parties in interest in place of the fictitious designations."
The Does and Roes sued by the investors are accused of harming the investors by breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, conversion and unjust enrichment.
The investors seek unspecified damages including punitive damages.
The investors say they are note holders of Murder Inc. and that their security interest in property is at stake in the Vion/Bloom lawsuit.
The investors are Vincent Mannino II, Larry and Linda DeMatteo; Howard Puterman, Joseph Randazzo, Hal Braxton and Aubrey Gray Crampton.
They’re represented by Las Vegas attorney Justin Watkins of the law firm Atkinson & Watkins LLP.
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