Multi-millionaires allegedly falsified loan application in the name of restaurant group causing the restaurant to lose financing and PPP support during COVID-19 shut down. *
Laguna Niguel, CA (RestaurantNews.com) John Nye who runs Hendrix in Laguna Niguel said learning about the falsified PPP loan application in his restaurant’s name was like a sucker punch to one of the most challenging years of his career. “I learned about it when I got a bill for a payment due. I couldn’t even address the issue with the bank because my name wasn’t on the loan,” noted Nye.
To add insult to injury, the persons who filed the claim were two business savvy individuals that Nye trusted—Amy Hsiao and Lihue (Kitti) Lo of Newport, California, who were investors in the Sentinel Restaurant Group-Hendrix Restaurant Group (Sentinel). Hsiao and Lo are multi-millionaires who allegedly kept the $150,000 PPP loans either for themselves or other entities in which they hold leadership positions as officers of the companies. The fraudulent claim prevented Sentinel from filing for legitimate PPP loans for his restaurants closed for the pandemic and caused the group to lose a major investment deal.
Sentinel has retained renowned Orange County attorney, Edward Susolik, who has handled many high-profile cases over the years and whose law firm has the largest jury verdict in Orange County history, to lead their fight in this case. “While most cases are not as brazen and egregious as this one, there is a significant PPP and EDD out there.”
The lawsuit was originally filed with the Orange County Superior Court. The three-day final arbitration hearing is set to begin on October 27, 2021.
Defendants Hsiao, the Senior Vice President of LogicLink, Inc., and under the umbrella of the same group of companies including Logic Solutions that has many fortune 500 companies that are clients including many hotel, casino, and technology companies that are heavily regulated, and Lo, the Chairman of Orange County based Manhattan Hotel Group, LLC and the President of MHG Capital, a hotel investment and operating company founded in 2012 that has transacted more than $500 million in select and full-service hotels comprised of more than 2000 rooms, compelled arbitration.
According to a recent congressional investigation, there has been well in excess of $1 Billion in falsified PPP loan applications in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic. The Department of Justice and other agencies have prioritized the prosecution of fraud arising from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Case number 30-2020-01176078-CU-FR-CJC was filed in the Orange County Superior Court.