Accused poker cheat and failed libel-lawsuit litigant Mike Postle has filed an amended list of creditors and amounts owed to a California bankruptcy court considering the involuntary-bankruptcy petition filed against him by former libel defendants Veronica Brill and Todd Witteles. In his latest filing, Postle claims to owe $271,324 to 25 different creditors.
Postle’s creditors list runs the gamut from maxed-out credit cards to an auto loan (on which he continues to make payments) to the court-ordered $55,000 he currently owes to Brill and Witteles to reimburse their legal fees. Postle’s refusal to date to pay that combined $55,000 spurred the two former defendants to file the involuntary-bankruptcy petition, which is the first step in identifying and liquidating any Postle assets to settle the outstanding debts.
Largest debt claimed is to Postle’s own mother
The largest of the 25 debts Postle now asserts is $82,113 to his own mother, Rose Postle. The entry for this debt includes a note: “Loans for multiple family court and previous attorneys needed.” The entry refers to the bitter separation and custody battle between Postle and his ex-wife, Sabina Johnson. (In June, Brill conducted an hour-long YouTube interview with Johnson that served up numerous tales of Postle’s less-than-ethical behavior, both in poker and in life.)
Whether Postle’s claimed debt to his mother is valid or is an after-the-fact debt of convenience will be another factor for the bankruptcy court to consider. Even if valid, such a debt is likely to receive the lowest priority for repayment in the event Postle is forced into bankruptcy.
Maxed-out credit cards dominate list
A large number of maxed-out credit cards dominate Postle’s latest filing. At least 16 and as many as 20 of the claimed creditors are credit-card accounts or from online-loan companies. Virtually all of these entries show round-number balances such as $2,000, $4,000, and $5,000, implying that Postle owes (or claims to owe) the full credit-line balance on all of these accounts.
One task that a court-appointed bankruptcy administrator will undertake is to determine whether Postle maxed out any of the cards intentionally while under the looming bankruptcy threat. This is a long-tried tactic by many near-bankrupt litigants, who have viewed it as a freeroll on the system. However, a court can declare credit charges beyond “normal” use as fraud, and can refrain from discharging those debts.
More slaps at Randazza, Brill
Even amid a fact-only filing, Postle still took a personal swipe at Brill and her attorney, Marc J. Randazza. Postle has attempted to paint the involuntary-bankruptcy filing as a personal vendetta brought against him by Brill and Randazza, though Postle seems to be the one who’s inserted personal attacks into otherwise straightforward filings.
That continued here amid what should have been a simple and factual listing of creditors’ names and accounts owed. While Witteles’ attorney, Eric Bensamochan, is listed in a mostly straightforward way, the next listed account is that for Randazza, and it included this note:
“24 Randazza firm* $27,745 Attorney fees after dismissing a defamation case without prejudice *These attorney fees were raised and collected through a GoFundMe that was put together by his client [Brill], sneakily with a previously unknown member of his firm as the beneficiary. The firm is attempting to be paid twice on this debt.”
Postle’s claim is highly misleading if not altogether false. Brill, a not-wealthy defendant, started a GoFundMe campaign to defray her expected defense against Postle’s $330 million libel suit. The account was set up to pay directly to Randazza’s legal firm as a matter of convenience and directness. To Brill’s surprise and relief, she received significant support from the poker community. That included an oversized donation from multi-millionaire Bill Perkins that assured Brill would be able to defend herself against Postle’s frivolous claims.
Overage from the GoFundMe campaign was then redirected, with Perkins’ permission, as a donation for handicapped pro player KL Cleeton, who was in need of a wheelchair-accessible van. Meanwhile, Postle’s claims about Randazza “attempting to be paid twice” actually reverse the truth of the situation. Postle owes that $27,000 as decreed by a California Superior Court, no matter what. He is continuing to attempt to “profit,” or at least nullify an owed debt, merely because Brill’s GoFundMe defense campaign was a success.
Postle still staying current on car payments
The final entry among Postle’s 25 creditors also raises questions. It’s to the Dallas-based Ford Motor Credit Association, in the amount of $18,533. Postle has kept up on his car payments while appearing to have dodged two dozen other debts, many of which have maxed out and appear quite aged.
Postle has already been dragged into court in two other bad-debt cases besides Brill’s and Witteles’ attempt to collect their legal fees. Yet without any visible employment, Postle still appears to have some form of cash reserve that allows him to keep up on his car payments. “I have made and continue to make all car payments on time through Ford Motor Credit Association in regards to this particular financed debt,” he wrote.
Witteles’ attorney, Bensamochan, is a practicing California bankruptcy lawyer and remains the attorney of record in the case. Bensamochan noted that Postle’s submission of an amended creditor’s list was in lieu of a missed deadline for a response to a memorandum filed on behalf of Witteles and Brill last month.
Featured image source: WPT/Erik Fast (with permission)