Accused poker cheat Mike Postle today filed a motion in a California Bankruptcy Court to dismiss an involuntary bankruptcy petition brought against him by Veronica Brill and Todd Witteles, two defendants in Postle’s failed $330 million defamation lawsuit. Postle’s motion seeks to foil Brill’s and Witteles’ legal efforts to forcibly collect judgments owed to them by Postle through a court-supervised process, including the possible liquidation of any identifiable Postle assets.
Today’s filing follows a brief extension granted to Postle last month. Postle received that extension after claiming he had not been properly served legal notice of the involuntary bankruptcy motion filed in July.
Postle currently owes Brill and Witteles roughly $55,000 in legal fees awarded under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which allows defendants to recover legal fees from frivolously-filed lawsuits. Postle automatically became liable for anti-SLAPP judgments after failing to secure replacement counsel, then filing to dismiss his defamation claims.
Motion attacks Brill’s attorney, alleges ‘bad faith’ filing
As with an earlier memo filed as part of his extension request, Postle’s dismissal attempt is largely an extended attack on Brill’s attorney, Marc Randazza. “I respectfully request the court to reject Mr. Randazza’s request to bankrupt me on the basis that the petition is a ‘bad faith filing’ which was filed punitively,” wrote Postle.
Postle again alleged that Randazza’s participation in the bankruptcy filing is largely a vendetta connected to the high-profile Sandy Hook / Alex Jones defamation case, in which unofficial legal aid was provided to Postle by the HONR Network, which represents the parents of Sandy Hook victims against Jones and his InfoWars network. Postle’s case has actually been brought into the Alex Jones legal matters in the form of allegations against Randazza of witness intimidation.
Those claims continued in today’s filing. “This involuntary bankruptcy filing is simply the latest effort in a long line of harassment, defamation, doxing, and intimidation carried out by Mr. Randazza against me,” wrote Postle. Postle also reiterated his claims that Randazza called HONR Network official Alexandrea Merrell a “f****** c***” in a three-party phone conversation, a claim that Randazza heatedly disputes. Randazza has demanded Postle retract that claim, and Postle, to date, has refused.
Brill claimed as wannabe ‘influencer’
Postle also attacked Brill, whose accusations of cheating by Postle triggered a poker-world furor. Postle wrote, “Brill, a former Sacramento poker commentator, made a claim that she thought I might have cheated at poker, because I was on a winning streak.” He further stated that Brill was “attempting to brand herself as a poker ‘influencer’ based on her claim that she was a ‘whistleblower’.”
Postle insinuated but did not directly assert that Brill did it for the notoriety. “Because of her claims,” he wrote, “other poker influencers and shows gave her a platform. Her highest consumed content occurred on episodes where she talked about me and where she announced that she was going to prove that I cheated.”
Postle also claimed that Brill failed to prove her claims that he cheated. Along this line, today’s filing included one of the first statistical claims offered in regard to the cheating allegations. Postle wrote, “Eventually however, [Brill] was compelled to prove that I had cheated. During the dates where she claimed that I cheated, my win rate across all hands played was a respectable 79%. However, Ms. Brill and supporters of her claim cherry-picked hands, rejected dozens of hands where I had lost and instead fabricated a 94% win rate.”
The case brought by Brill and dozens of other players against Postle, Sacramento’s Stones Gambling Hall, and Stones employee Justin Kuraitis was settled out of court. Postle himself was dismissed as a defendant before that nominal settlement occurred, on a California gambling-law technicality.
Witteles and counsel ignored in motion
Postle’s filing ignores that the involuntary-bankruptcy petition wasn’t filed by Randazza, however. Instead, that petition was filed by Eric Bensamochan, the attorney representing the other former defendant in the case, Witteles. Bensamochan is a practicing California bankruptcy attorney and remains the lead counsel in the involuntary-bankruptcy case.
Witteles’s name appears nowhere in Postle’s dismissal filing, which consists of an eight-page motion and 30 pages of supporting documents. Bensamochan’s name appears only once, in the supplementary list of 17 creditors Postle currently claims.
Despite being ignored alongside Postle’s attacks against Brill and Randazza, Bensamochan offered a quote to Poker.org. Bensamochan said, “It is clear from Mr. Postle’s self-serving statements contained within his motion to dismiss the involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against him, that he seemingly wishes to use the judicial system as a way to improperly advance his own narrative, with total disregard of the fact that Mr. Witteles and Ms. Brill hold valid and unpaid judgments against him. All this filing does is confirm that Mr. Postle should be in bankruptcy and a trustee should be appointed to investigate his financial affairs.”
Postle also claimed that the involuntary-bankruptcy petition fails a “numerosity” standard related to the existing number of his current creditors. In an addendum to the filing, Postle lists 17 possible creditors. Almost all of them are credit-card accounts, though Postle did not detail whether he actually owes money on any of these accounts. The 17 listed creditors include Bensamochan and Randazza as the lead attorneys for Witteles and Brill.