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Houston Chef Don Bowie Sued by Companions Together with Andre Johnson and Akon Over Lacking Cash Allegations

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A brand new steakhouse within the Washington Hall is prone to closing its doorways amid a authorized battle with traders, in accordance with attorneys.Chef Don Bowie, half proprietor of the Uncommon Steakhouse that opened in March, is being sued by his companions Akon and Houston Texans legend Andre Johnson.

In a civil lawsuit filed in Might, the duo allege tons of of hundreds of {dollars} are lacking.Johnson and Akon contributed roughly $1.2 million to finance the restaurant, and Bowie was supposed to present a further $700,000. Traders wrote within the lawsuit, although, that they do not imagine the chef ever gave any cash.

When requested if all the cash was gone, Rusty Hardin, who represents Johnson and Akon, responded: “Effectively, we’ve got to search for it for that query. We will not discover the place it’s. That is one of many issues we’re in search of.” . utilizing the forensic accountant to.”

Months after the restaurant opened, the plaintiffs stated they found that staff and distributors weren’t being paid on time, and a few weren’t being paid.

“The close to full absence of money deposits at a restaurant, and one which actively encourages patrons to make use of money, is very suspicious and suggests embezzlement or theft by Bowie or others,” attorneys for Akon and Johnson wrote within the submitting. civil lawsuit.

They stated financial institution information present unexplained transfers from restaurant accounts. Legal professionals imagine the cash made at Uncommon is used to finance Bowie’s different restaurant and for private use.

“I believe he is run right into a state of affairs the place all the things is shutting down and persons are beginning to discover out the reality,” Hardin stated.

In a court docket submitting responding to the lawsuit, Bowie’s attorneys stated he denies the allegations towards him.

The claims about Uncommon are much like these made by his enterprise companion at well-liked Midtown restaurant Style Bar and Kitchen.

Dallas legal professional Kevin Kelley additionally filed a lawsuit towards Bowie in 2020, calling it a “traditional case of embezzlement by a restaurant supervisor.”

Kelly put up your complete $220,000 to open the restaurant, in accordance with the lawsuit.Financial institution information present that inside per week of transferring the primary installment, Bowie made unauthorized private withdrawals from the ATM, in accordance with the lawsuit.

Kelley employed a forensic legal professional who he stated uncovered $900,000 lacking in simply over a 12 months. His legal professional included an itemization within the civil submitting displaying the accountant’s findings. They declare that Bowie took money winnings, valet funds, hosted massive personal occasions with celebrities and pocketed the winnings, and gave cash to household and associates.

Bowie denies all claims towards him in a court docket submitting. As an alternative, he claims that the accountant Kelley appointed uncared for the well-being of Style Bar and Kitchen.

ABC13 additionally discovered information displaying two Bowie-owned restricted legal responsibility corporations receiving greater than $650,000 in coronavirus-related Paycheck Safety Program (PPP) loans that had been earmarked for payroll.

Kelley stated in his lawsuit that he was not consulted concerning the mortgage he took out for his restaurant with the chef and that he didn’t know the way the cash was spent.

Bowie can be embroiled in a authorized battle with the proprietor of the favored Midtown restaurant.

Amir Ansari stated he has been making an attempt to evict the chef since March for nonpayment of lease. He tried to dam Bowie and the Style workers, however was capable of regain entry.

In claims made by the owner in civil paperwork, the chef made unauthorized additions to the constructing, together with the addition of a second-floor terrace.

Ansari employed a structural engineer who inspected Style Bar and Kitchen in March and famous in his report that there’s a appreciable quantity of rotten wooden within the constructing and believes that a part of the constructing might collapse relying on the extent of the structural injury.

The owner went earlier than the Houston Metropolis Council together with his frustrations.

“I’m being detained by armed guards who’re there,” Ansari informed the council. “So, I am asking HPD to assist defend me so I do not get shot.”

“However if you’re entitled, you must go to court docket and the choose ought to be the arbiter of that dispute,” Mayor Sylvester Turner stated in response. “I hear what you say. Let me speak to the authorized division.”

In court docket paperwork, Bowie claims that he paid the lease and that Ansari breached his lease.

The chef’s companions at Uncommon Steakhouse stated they had been unaware of the authorized troubles Bowie was part of earlier than doing enterprise with him.

“I believe on the finish of the day, (Bowie) has destroyed that place and the companions needed to see if they may put it aside,” Hardin stated. “They needed to see if they may save the restaurant, if they may save the roles of the individuals who had been there. It appears like that is not going to be doable.”

ABC13 contacted Bowie and his legal professional, Ben Corridor, for greater than per week in an try to get their facet of the story. Bowie responded Thursday afternoon and stated that he’s very occupied with clearing up the hypothesis. We’ll replace the story when that occurs.

No prison fees have been filed within the case. Houston police stated they may neither affirm nor deny whether or not they’re investigating the claims.

For extra on this story, observe Mycah Hatfield on Fb, Twitter and Instagram.

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