Thursday, October 6 2022

BRIDGEPORT — A judge has given federal attorneys more time to review the finances of a former Milford strip club president who filed for bankruptcy after losing a $113,560 judgment at the hands of exotic dancers who worked there.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Julie Manning ordered the case of Fairfield resident Joseph Regensburger, former Keepers Gentlemens Club president, to proceed after the dancers’ attorney revealed Regensburger received a $26,094 check from a company Derby-based limited liability company that was not reported in its bankruptcy filings.

During a hearing last month in federal bankruptcy court, the attorney, Kenneth Krayeske, said the check is only a fraction of “more than $400,000 that Mr. Regensburger has passed through his hands” within the “recovery” period. granted to the authorities. in bankruptcy cases to investigate the debtor’s assets.

Before sentencing, the judge asked a Department of Justice attorney representing the United States Trustee to supervises bankruptcy caseswhether federal attorneys are contemplating “any other course of action” in the case.

“I cannot comment further other than to say that the US Trustee is processing the paperwork they are receiving from Attorney Krayeske,” the attorney, Holley Claiborn, responded. “Where that leads has yet to be determined.”

“Understood,” Manning said. “I just wonder if people are considering any other form of action besides bankruptcy court actions. In any case, everyone will think about it and we will go from there.”

Neama Rahmani, a former assistant federal prosecutor and president of Los Angeles-based West Coast Trial Lawyers said Friday that the bankruptcy trustee has “broad authority to investigate and prosecute bankruptcy fraud, if that is what is happening in the Regensburger case.

“Prosecutors take referrals from judges very seriously, so Regensburger must proceed with caution,” Rahmani said.

Regensburger could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Some of the checks he cashed were signed by Gus Curcio Sr., a Stratford resident and renowned mobster connected to Keepers.

Krayeske has been trying to get Regensburger to pay a judgment won by the six dancers in a lawsuit that says they were not paid minimum wage or overtime while working at the club on Woodmont Road in Milford.

The state Court of Appeals has been weighing an appeal by Keepers in the lawsuit for nearly seven months.

Regensburger, who is representing himself in the bankruptcy case, did not participate in last month’s bankruptcy hearing, but in a filing opposing the case going forward, he said Krayeske “reprimanded and abused” him. him while “on a mission to obtain blood”. of a stone.”

“The UST (United States Trustee) has allowed Attorney Krayeske’s sideshow to go on long enough and there is clear evidence that the debtor does not have the assets creditors are seeking,” Regensburger wrote.

Another objection to continue with the case came from Curcio, who was convicted of extortion in the 1980s, for whom Regensburger has several business relationships and has worked as a titular “bow puppet,” according to deposition testimony.

Through a lawyer, Curcio, who is listed as one of Regensburger’s creditors, said “it is not necessary to spend more of the Court’s precious resources in this particular case.”

But during the hearing, Claiborn said “there are other questions that need to be asked” of Regensburger.

“There are a number of checks that are made out to cash or made out to Mr. Regensburger that require an explanation,” Claiborn said, citing filings by Krayeske. “That is a proper area of ​​investigation that we need to pursue to determine if it is revenue for Mr. Regensburger or something else.”

He also said extending the case would benefit all of Regensburger’s creditors, including Curcio, whose objection he called “unusual.”

Krayeske said the process is slow because “Mr. Regensburger’s finances are inextricably intertwined with those of Mr. Curcio.”

He said neither man has been forthcoming in their statements in the case, and that Curcio invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 500 times under questioning, including when asked his date of birth.

“We are actively seeking information to help us understand what assets are available to meet creditors’ judgment,” Krayeske said.

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