Scores strip club owner sues Deutsche Bank

Investor claims German lender improperly backed out of $17M loan
By Adam Pincus | July 22, 2014 06:00PM

A hardware magnate who is also an owner of the strip club Scores New York claims in a new lawsuit that commercial lender Deutsche Bank unfairly reneged on making a $17 million loan on several of his local commercial properties.

Robert Gans, owner of Metropolitan Lumber & Hardware as well as Scores New York and Penthouse Executive Club, alleges in the lawsuit filed yesterday that the German-based lender — one of the most active commercial loan sources for Manhattan properties — declined to make the loan because Gans also owns the strip clubs.

The loans were planned for his lumber properties in Manhattan and Queens, not on his adult-related ventures.

Gans claims that Deutsche Bank executives knew all along that he had ties to the adult entertainment world, and backing out of the loan agreement damaged him for a total of $1 million.

“Knowing that some lending institutions might be disinclined to deal with someone involved in the adult entertainment business, [a Gans representative] endeavored to be entirely transparent about Mr. Gans’s involvement in the Penthouse Club and Scores,” the complaint says.

The complaint further alleges Gans’ attorney told Deutsche Bank of another potential problem with the loan. Deutsche Bank declined to comment, and Gans did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His attorney on the lawsuit, James Ringer, of the law firm Meister Seelig & Fein, was not immediately available for comment.

The bank was told about litigation surrounding an apartment Gans owns in the Atelier Condominium, where a woman described as his girlfriend was accused two years ago of running an escort service.

Gans’ representative told Deutsche Bank executives that the allegations were bogus, and were merely retaliation against Gans for a lawsuit he filed against the Atelier’s board.

“Within days of these conversations,” the complaint alleges that the bank’s executives “had confirmed with Deutsche Bank’s management that Deutsche Bank had no concerns about Mr. Gans’s involvement in the adult entertainment business or condo litigation.”

The parties inked a term sheet in November 2013, and Gans made a $75,000 good faith deposit for the loan.

However, on January 28, a bank representative called Gans’s attorney and said the lender declined to provide the loan to someone with ties to adult entertainment.