05
Feb2015
Restaurateurs Serve Up Accusations

Restaurateurs Serve Up Accusations of Piggish Misconduct

Scott Harris, founder and chef of the Purple Pig, sued fellow members and investors. According to the lawsuit, the defendants were embezzling revenues, destroying records, diluting Harris’ ownership, and freezing him out of bank accounts. The parties include his co-founding partner, the partner’s son, a chef, and the general manager. Harris seeks over $500,000 in actual damages and over $1,000,000 in punitive damages. Additionally, he seeks an accounting of the restaurant’s finances and the removal of the co-founder from ownership. The restaurateurs serve up accusations of piggish misconduct

Accusations of Misappropriating Revenues

Harris’ meatiest accusations are directed at his co-founding partner for misappropriating revenues towards “abusive” personal spending. Additionally, he accuses his co-founder of devising a kickback scheme to dodge tax obligations. Harris also claims that the general manager participated in the scheme and the investors knew about it. He also alleges that the parties collectively reduced his ownership share without his consent and kept him out of managerial decisions.

In response, the defendants filed a counterclaim and mounted a barrage of accusations against Harris. They accused him of forging his co-founder’s signature on a loan agreement and converting over $65,000 of Purple Pig funds. Additionally, they accused him of opening competing restaurants, stealing the chef’s recipes, and other various breaches of contract. The defendants contend that Harris filed a groundless lawsuit in order to obtain leverage over the other members. They seek disassociation of Harris from Purple Pig in addition to compensatory and punitive damages.

Early on, the court denied Harris’ request for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. Harris also filed and subsequently withdrew an emergency motion demanding the release of certain checks in his co-founder’s possession. The litigation is currently proceeding through the discovery phase with the issuance of subpoenas.

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