Court Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against Tommy Constantine by NHL Players and New York City Police Officers
Legal Fees Awarded to Tommy Constantine.
According to court documents, a heavily publicized lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Arizona (Case Number: CV 2010-028333) by two New York City Police Officers and a number of NHL hockey players against former professional race car driver and Arizona entrepreneur Tommy Constantine was recently dismissed by the court as a matter of law. The case will not proceed to trial. Constantine filed a counter suit which remains in effect against the Plaintiffs, as well as a number of other individuals allegedly involved in the filing of the lawsuit. According to court documents, as part of the dismissal, the court has also ruled that Mr. Constantine shall be reimbursed his legal fees by the Plaintiffs. Mr. Constantine has maintained that the suit was brought against him to damage his reputation, to smear his name in the media and to attempt to take control of his company.
The failed lawsuit against Tommy Constantine was allegedly filed at the direction of investment advisor and business manager for the hockey players Philip A. Kenner and was one of several failed lawsuits allegedly prompted by Kenner on behalf of his NHL clients. In a separate court proceeding, according to court documents a Scottsdale city court judge also granted Constantine an Order of Protection against Kenner (Case Number: M-0751-CV-2010033436) for his malicious activities towards Constantine.
There have also been a number of lawsuits filed against Kenner by a group of Kenner's former NHL clients and other business associates. In one such lawsuit brought against Kenner in Arizona by retired NHL hockey player Owen Nolan (Case Number: CV 2010-028333), a judgment against Kenner in excess of $2.5 million was awarded to Nolan. According to court documents, Kenner subsequently appealed the court's decision but was unsuccessful in overturning the court's order. Kenner has also allegedly been under investigation by the SEC and US Attorney's Office since he allegedly directed several of his NHL clients and others to sue one of his former business associates with whom he has made investments on behalf of his clients.
According to court documents, the lawsuit against Constantine was in connection with an investment made into Constantine's credit card company which was made through a holding company owned by the NHL players and controlled by Kenner and his close associate Timothy R. Gaarn. Constantine's counter suit alleges among other things, that Kenner was parsing off secret interests for himself and Gaarn, as well as another close associate of Kenner's, former NY Police Officer John Kaiser. Constantine alleges that Kenner was using his NHL clients' money to invest in various companies on behalf of his clients while being paid a fee by his clients to manage such investments and was simultaneously issuing shares to Gaarn, Kaiser and himself without his clients' knowledge and without either of them making an investment themselves. Constantine claims that a former disgruntled employee of his company, Carlton R. Gentry, aka CR Gentry, aided Kenner in the scheme and bringing the subsequent lawsuit against Constantine. Constantine stated that Gentry's employment with the company was terminated by Constantine as a result of Constantine becoming aware of Gentry's involvement in Kenner's and Gaarn's scheme. Kenner, Kaiser, Gentry and Gaarn then allegedly conspired together to prompt the hockey players and the two New York City police officers to file the lawsuit. According to the court documents, neither Kenner nor any of his co-conspirators were plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Constantine maintains that these individuals used the lawsuit and the media to exploit a 22 year old one-time felony drug conviction of Constantine's to allege wrongdoing against Constantine in order to take control of his company and to hide the current alleged criminal activity being committed by Kenner and his associates against his own clients.
The failed lawsuit, according to court documents, was brought on behalf of these individuals by New York attorney and General Counsel of the New York based real estate development company Atlantic Development, Michael Stolper, as well as his colleague New York Attorney Eric Hatzimemos. Mr. Hatzimemos is a founding member and the Executive Managing Director of Giuliani Partners LLC. Stolper and Hatzimemos, in addition to the Plaintiffs, are both named defendants in Constantine's counter suit along with Kenner, Kaiser, Gaarn and Gentry. Stolper allegedly took on the case in his spare time in exchange for an interest in Constantine's company, if he was successful in ousting Constantine and giving control of the company to Kenner and his associates.
"I guess with my past, I was an easy target" said Constantine. "I have spent my entire adult life trying to overcome a single mistake that I made when I was a kid and until now, I have been successful in doing so in every aspect of my personal and professional life. I believe that I have built a successful business that is going to be potentially very valuable for all of our shareholders and as far as I am concerned, this lawsuit is simply the result of a few bad guys that tried to use my past and a bunch of lies to cover up their own wrongdoing and for their own financial benefit. It's really a shame. This has been very damaging professionally and publicly humiliating for me personally, but the real victims are the hockey players, their families and the other individuals that are being manipulated. They have followed some really bad advice. Unfortunately what the players and these police officers who invested with Kenner and Kaiser may or may not have realized in all of this, is that they have as much liability in bringing this malicious lawsuit as the ones that have put them up to it," stated Constantine. "I suspect in the end, it is they that will be paying the legal fees and will take responsibility for outcome of the counter suit, not Kenner or his cohorts. I'm just very happy that the judge saw through the nonsense and ruled the way that he did."
In 2009, according to court documents, retired NHL hockey players Joe Juneau and Ethan Moreau who are also former Kenner clients, sued Kenner and Constantine in the United States District Court, Central District of California (Case Numbers: 2:08-cv-08284-CBM-PJW, 2:08-cv-08640-CBM-PJW and 2:08-cv-02271-NVW) in connection with certain investments made by Kenner on behalf of Juneau and Moreau. The lawsuits against Constantine which were also heavily publicized in the media were dismissed by Juneau and Moreau shortly after they were filed.
"In the first opportunity for Mr. Constantine and I to directly discuss my investment with him, Mr. Constantine agreed to refund my entire investment. Accordingly, we have agreed to an amicable resolution of the issues raised in my lawsuit against him", said Juneau. "I harbor no negative feelings towards Mr. Constantine, or his companies, or how he ultimately handled my investment and I do not condone, nor did I participate in the attacks brought upon Mr. Constantine in the media" stated Juneau.