PaymentWorld seek to postpone Roman Balanko deposition
Last week we explored the possibility that Roman Balanko had lied to the Zeek Rewards Receiver.
Officially, Roman Balanko is the CEO of PaymentWorld USA. Balanko and PaymentWorld USA are arguing they have no control over Zeek funds deposited in a VictoriaBank account in Moldova, which was in the name of PaymentWorld Hong Kong.
An agent agreement cited and published by BehindMLM however revealed Roman Balanko is the President of PaymentWorld Hong Kong.
As it stands, Balanko is scheduled to be deposed by the Zeek Receiver on July 22nd. PaymentWorld now want that deposition postponed.
The Zeek Receiver first contacted PaymentWorld about the deposition on June 3rd. Initially PaymentWorld agreed to the July 22nd date.
When the Receiver filed a memorandum in a separate lawsuit filed by Payza against PaymentWorld however, Balanko and PaymentWorld thought nothing of it.
On June 22nd the Receiver escalated the memorandum to an official intervention motion, which has evidently left PaymentWorld and Balanko spooked.
Due to emergence of unforeseen actions taken by the Receiver to Intervene in a related action pending in California state court, Paymentworld has sought to postpone Mr. Balanko’s deposition until such time as those matters can be resolved.
The Receiver responded to PaymentWorld’s request for a postponement by ‘complete(ly) and utter(ly) refus(ing) to accommodate’ it.
The Zeek Receiver’s intervention motion appears to have been filed in response to a request from Roman Balanko to compel arbitration between Payza and PaymentWorld.
The Receiver asserts that, should Balanko’s arbitration motion be granted, he
will be forced to participate in arbitration proceedings to which he did not agree in order to protect .. the full amount … due and owing … to the enormous number of victims of the Zeek Rewards scheme, one of the largest, if not the largest, Ponzi and pyramid schemes in United States history.
No decision has been made on the Receiver’s filing yet, with the matter up for a hearing on July 19th.
It is the pending nature of the Receiver’s Motion to Intervene in the California Action and the potential outcome of that motion that gives rise to Paymentworld’s instant Motion for an Order of Protection.
PaymentWorld, you see, don’t want the Receiver asking Balanko questions about the Payza lawsuit.
At the time of the agreement, Paymentworld was wholly unaware of the Receiver’s intent to Intervene in the California Action.
Irrespective of the relative merits of the Receiver’s Motion, his request to intervene in the California Action creates an inherent difficultly in producing Mr. Balanko for deposition on July 22, 2016.
That is, if granted leave to intervene in California, the Receiver will be afforded all associated rights to discovery, including the opportunity to depose Mr. Balanko (again) regarding the very subject matter at issue in this Court.
Moreover, the California Action also involves additional parties with similar discovery rights who, presumably, have an interest in Mr. Balanko’s deposition.
Sounds like, in addition to lying to the Receiver about his ownership of PaymentWorld Hong Kong, Roman Balanko potentially has a number of skeletons in his closet he doesn’t want Payza or the Receivership to find out about.
A Protection Order filed by PaymentWorld on July 11th seeks to ‘restrict (Balanko) from participating in any discovery in the California Action without effectively waiving any right to arbitration.‘
Whether or not Balanko’s ownership of PaymentWorld Hong Kong would be part of the Payza lawsuit discovery is unclear.
In addition to requesting a deposition, the Zeek Receiver has issued a document supoena for ‘voluminous documents and communications spanning the course of the past six (6) years‘.
PaymentWorld have objected to the request.
If PaymentWorld get their way, Balanko’s deposition by the Receiver will be postponed till sometime after August 23rd, the date of Balanko’s Motion to Compel Arbitration hearing.
For their part, PaymentWorld claims it
does not seek to quash the Receiver’s Subpoena nor does it seek to foreclose on any right or opportunity of the Receiver to depose Mr. Balanko.
Rather, Paymentworld requests the issuance of a Protective Order to safeguard Mr. Balanko from the unnecessary time, expense, burden, and exposure of appearing for multiple depositions concerning the exact same subject matter.
Whatever the outcome of the recently filed motions in both court cases, PaymentWorld have iterated that they are ‘more than willing to produce Mr. Balanko for deposition on a mutually agreeable date and time‘.
In the meantime,
Paymentworld respectfully requests that this Court enter a Protective Order Providing that neither Paymentworld, nor its CEO Roman Balanko be required to comply with any subpoena issued by the Receiver compelling deposition testimony and/or the production of documents, until such time as the Receiver’s Motion to Intervene and Mr. Balanko’s Motion to Compel Arbitration are resolved by the court in the California Action.
It is assumed the Zeek Receiver will file a response to PaymentWorld’s Protective Order motion, after which a ruling on the matter will be made.
Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of PaymentWorld’s “Motion for Protective Order” (filed July 11th).