Trustees look to settle Dusty Old Cars debt
NASHUA – The bad $110,000 loan integral to the first 20 criminal indictments against Dusty Old Cars owner Stephan Condodemetraky may get settled, at least in the bankruptcy case.
Michael Askenaizer, the Nashua attorney appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court as the trustee to oversee the company’s liquidation, is seeking to settle a more than $100,000 debt that led to Condodemetraky being indicted in May by the grand jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on one count of witness tampering, nine counts of forgery and 10 counts of title application fraud.
Askenaizer is asking the Bankruptcy court to approve the settlement that will pay Gold Ridge Micro Cap I LLC, $33,000, as well as a portion of the auction proceeds for some of the disputed cars in the case. The value of the auction proceeds are capped at a little more than $20,000 under the terms of the proposed settlement.
This settlement does not impact the criminal case against Condodemetraky.
In 2013, Condodemetraky made a deal with Gold Ridge to repay the debt, using 10 classic cars as collateral. The problem was Condodemetraky did not own the cars in question, according to court records.
The indictments that charge Condodemetraky with 10 counts of title application fraud and nine counts of forgery for allegedly falsifying sales agreements on the cars owned by Brad West, a Manchester resident.
The issue of West’s cars first surfaced in a Connecticut court in 2013, where Condodemetraky was being sued by an investment firm, Gold Ridge Micro Cap 1 LLC. The company claimed that Condodemetraky had borrowed $110,000 in 2012 and failed to repay the money. As part of the 2013 settlement with Gold Ridge, Condodemetraky put up a collection of 10 cars as collateral for the money. The collection was valued at more than $150,000.
According to court records, Condodemetraky was passing the cars off as his own, even though they were owned by West at the time the agreement with Gold Ridge. Court records show Condodemetraky even presented titles for the cars showing they were his to the Gold Ridge attorneys and to the judge in the Connecticut case.
In late 2014, Condodemetraky defaulted on the Gold Ridge loan again, and the parties were back in court. Gold Ridge was ready to take ownership of the cars to settle the debt. Condodemetraky stalled handing the cars over, and Gold Ridge did its own investigation and talked to West, who denied he had sold the cars to Condodemetraky, according to court records.
West signed an affidavit stating he had never sold his cars to Condodemetraky and was ready to testify in the Gold Ridge lawsuit in Connecticut, when Condodemetraky’s legal team allegedly tried to stop him, according to the court records.
Court records also indicated, Condodemetraky sued West in New Hampshire, claiming he did sell the cars. Condodemetraky’s attorney, Craig Donais, testified under oath that he told West’s lawyer they would drop the lawsuit if West didn’t testify in the Gold Ridge case.
“We generally said that we didn’t have an interest in pursuing Mr. West, but if Mr. West was going to make trouble, by being involved in the proceeding, by injecting himself in a way that he did not need to that we were going to proceed with the case in New Hampshire,” Donais said.
Connecticut Judge Sheila Ozalis went ahead and held a hearing on the matter in October 2015, in which Condodemetraky presented title applications and sales agreements that were obviously forged, she wrote in her ruling.
“Mr. Condodemetraky … was not credible in any conceivable way during his testimony, and the fraud perpetrated by (Condodemetraky) on (Gold Ridge), Mr. West, and this court was clear,” she wrote.
The October 2015 hearing brought to light evidence that Condodemetraky, through his company Aftokinito, committed title application fraud and forgery, according to Ozlem’s ruling.
“The evidence at the (October) hearings conclusively established that the defendant Aftokinito fraudulently created the Motor Vehicle Purchase Contracts that it gave to (Gold Ridge), forged Mr. West’s signature on such contracts, and fraudulently filed applications for titles in New Hampshire on cars it never owned based on such forged contracts to induce (Gold Ridge) to enter into the Settlement agreement,” Ozalis wrote in her ruling.
Gold Ridge has been pursuing its claims in the bankruptcy court. Condodemetraky filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2017, after more than 100 former consignment customers complained about his practices. He’s facing more than 30 felonies, including those associated with the Gold Ridge Case.
In Nashua, Condodemetraky is facing seven felony counts of theft by misapplication of property for “recklessly” failing to pay seven people the net proceeds of consignment sales they were owed. In the Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, Condodemetraky is charged with three counts of theft by deception and one count theft by unauthorized taking, all associated with his car business.
Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_DF.