Gambler’s bankruptcy fraud lawsuit gets sticky By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports January 12, 2022 at 7:32 pm High-rolling gambler Brandon Sattler continues to take big hits in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas in an ongoing fraud litigation filed by attorneys for jilted investors in his defunct SattCom Video, LLC. The accusations are ugly. Plaintiffs James Russell, Grant Whitcher, and Julie Russell allege, through attorney Mark M. Weisenmiller, that Sattler conned them into investing in SattCom Video with a claim that his company had the inside track to install hundreds of televisions in casino-resorts. The plaintiffs loaned SattCom $11 million from September 2016 to April 2018, according to court records, with Sattler personally guaranteeing repayment. An involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition was filed by angry creditors in October 2018. Sattler declined to contest the allegations or cooperate with document requests and has since been hit with a contempt order and money sanctions in U.S. Bankruptcy Judge August B. Landis’ court. Sattler failed to repay a substantive amount of the sanctions, instead preferring to play the high roller at Wynn Las Vegas and Resorts World on the Strip and Foxwoods in Connecticut, according to subpoenas in the bankruptcy fraud case. Now the stakes may be climbing. This week, attorney Weisenmiller subpoenaed Resorts World President and CEO Scott Sibella to sit for a deposition in association with the case. The subpoena does not make clear Sibella’s relationship, if any, to Sattler or the litigation. A request for comment from Resorts World General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Gerald Gardner was declined. The Sibella subpoena appears to be different from the standard process served in cases involving gambling records. In many cases involving casino play and gambling records, subpoenas attempt to serve the “person most knowledgeable.” Such a subpoena was filed by Weisenmiller on Resorts World on Oct. 22. Interestingly, in an after-hours filing with the court through attorney Shawn Perez, Sattler declared under penalty of perjury that he had contacted Weisenmuller with an attempt to make good on the sanctions owed the plaintiffs, which were paltry compared to the millions they claim to have lost with his company. Sattler assured the court that he “… volunteered to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees, etc. to save money and time on the court from having to hear a motion on sanctions that is now paid in full, thus trying to close this adversary, but Mr. Weisenmiller failed to get back to me, thus having me now to respond to this motion.” He then claimed he is willing to immediately pay fees and costs associated with the case. Perez produced an email exchange that indicates a resolution is in the works on the fees and costs issue. That might make moot the Sibella subpoena. But according to court records, he also claimed to have a trust worth $108 million and to have lucrative contracts to install television sets at casinos in Las Vegas and Florida and the Bahamas. Working through a man purporting to be a loan broker, Sattler contacted the plaintiffs with his pitch to join him in a project to install televisions at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, according to court documents. The broker even claimed Sattler was worth “tens of millions of dollars” and that he received $1.2 million a year. For his part, Sattler produced documents that made his personal finances and contacts appear impressive. They were anything but that, court records indicate. During his charade, Sattler introduced investors to a supposed partner in an effort to ease their minds and separate them from more of their money, according to bankruptcy court documents. It worked after he offered them worthless guarantees and enough interest to keep them in the game. Weisenmiller wrote in a September 2020 motion, ‘’ … while making interest payments on each of the successive notes, Sattler began touting the need for financing of non-existent projects and the existence of large accounts receivable due to SattCom, provided Russell a fabricated letter of intent and contract, doctored bank statements and financial reports, and concealed that he actually intended to use the Loan proceeds to gamble and buy luxury cars, rather than to purchase audiovisual equipment for installation by SattCom.” Does that sound like criminal fraud? What is clear is that Sattler went on a high-roller gambling spree after making nominal repayments to his creditors that Weisenmiller labels a “Sham and Intentional Failure to Timely Satisfy the Contempt Order.” Sattler was ordered by the court to pay sanctions by Sept. 22, but as you’ll see, his mind was on other matters. After telling the court his marginal payments were all he could afford and still be able to “put food on the table and pay utilities,” the plaintiffs have recorded at least 16 visits to Wynn Las Vegas from June 15 to Sept. 28, with a series of cash deposits: $55,000 on June 28, $40,000 on Aug. 1, $60,000 on Sept. 4, and $65,000 on Sept. 22, all after he’d been sanctioned by the court. A similar pattern developed at Resorts World with seven visits from June 24 to Oct. 28 for a total of $394,025 wagered and $443,595 won at the tables. Sattler is also accused of selling a home at South Lake Tahoe without permission from the bankruptcy court, a move that caused his previous legal counsel to seek to withdraw as his attorneys. In their motion, the Goldsmith & Guymon law firm stated that their client “has willfully concealed the sale of his second home located in South Lake Tahoe, California, from G&G, as he knew it to be a violation of the Preservation Order …” At this point, what attorneys and the court might possibly glean from a deposition of a major casino executive is anyone’s guess. I’m no high roller, but with Sattler suddenly coming up with the funds to pay his sanctions, it’s a good bet Sibella won’t need to sit for one. If Weisenmiller is wise, he’ll accept Sattler’s payment in cash.