Law Firm Duels With Actor Mike Malin
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Actor-restaurateur Mike Malin is engaged in dueling lawsuits with the Lavely & Singer law firm, and claims the firm or its agents, hacked into his email and phone.
On the other side of the allegations, a business partner represented by Lavely & Singer claims that Malin and a crony "illegally siphoned" money from their restaurant group "to support their lavish lifestyle and bad habits."
Malin won the TV competition "Big Brother: All Stars" in 2006. He is a co-owner of the Dolce Group, which runs restaurants and bars in Los Angeles, Reno and Atlanta.
Also appearing in both complaints, as a defendant and plaintiff, is Shereen Arazm aka Shereen Koules, a co-owner of the Dolce Group. The Dolce Group itself is not a party to either complaint.
Malin sued Arazm on Aug. 1; Arazm sued Malin on Aug. 2, both in Superior Court.
As sole plaintiff, Malin sued Martin Singer; Lavely & Singer; Andrew Brettler, an associate attorney with the law firm; Shereen Arazm; and Arazm's husband, Oren Koules. Malin says that both Arazm and Koules are Lavely & Singer clients.
Malin claims that in recent weeks someone acting for the defendants "hacked into plaintiff's private e-mails in order to invade plaintiff's privacy and gain access to private information, without permission ... and have also illegally eavesdropped and/or wiretapped plaintiff's telephones."
Malin claims Singer sent him a letter on behalf of Arazm and Koules, regarding the management of their businesses.
Arazm is a judge on the show "Top Chef Canada."
In the letter, Malin says, Singer "threatened to file a lawsuit against the plaintiff, and in that lawsuit he would allege that plaintiff had used 'company resources to arrange sexual liaisons. ...' and that although the draft complaint that was attached to the letter contained blank spaces, that '[w]hen the complaint is filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, there will be no blanks in the pleading.'" (Ellipsis and brackets in complaint.)
Malin says Singer's letter demanded that the business dispute "be resolved 'to my client's satisfaction' within five days, and if the dispute was not so resolved, then a lawsuit would be filed by the defendants wherein (plaintiff and) third parties unrelated to that dispute would be exposed to public embarrassment and humiliation." (Parentheses in original.)
Malin seeks punitive damages for extortion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil rights violations. He is represented by Barry King.
Arazm sued back the next day, with co-plaintiff Geisha House, in which she owns 18.5 percent interest.
The defendants in this lurid complaint are Malin, whose given name is alleged to be Michael Robert Carrie; Lonnie Moore, a Malin business partner; 2Hype Productions, an alleged alter ego of Malin; LTM Consulting, another alter ego; Moore & Malin Enterprises; James McDonald, comptroller of the Dolce Group; and Robert Pau, Dolce's director of operations.
This complaint calls the Dolce Group "a conglomerate of restaurants and clubs owned and operated by Malin and Moore."
Arazm's complaint, filed by Martin Singer, minces no words.
It begins: "Despite constantly referring to themselves as 'gentlemen,' washed-up reality television star Mike 'Boogie' Malin and accused rapist Lonnie Moore are far from it. Although they seek to promote their new restaurant, Lemon Basket, which is featured on the VH1 reality TV show 'Famous Food,' their biggest accomplishment was stealing and embezzling monies from their partners and investors. For years, Malin and Moore have been embezzling and stealing money from their partner, Shereene Arazm, and other investors in their restaurant group to support their lavish lifestyle and bad habits. Now the jig is up. Malin and Moore, along with other co-conspirators, including James McDonald and Robert Pau, have concocted fraudulent and illegal schemes designed to rob their partners and investors blind, line their own pockets, and pad their own trust accounts. As Malin and Moore grew richer, they became even more brazen. They conspired with others, including their comptroller James McDonald, and their director of operations Robert Pau, they openly discussed their scams, they plotted new schemes to steal from Arazm and others, and sent countless emails memorializing their efforts to do so. Malin, Moore and their co-conspirators, including McDonald and Pau, must be held accountable for all monies they embezzled and stole from the restaurants and clubs and for the lost profits they could have earned had they not mismanaged the entities they controlled and still control."
Arazm claims that Malin and Moore and their co-defendants "established at least one off-the-books PayPal account" where they collected fees and split the profits among themselves "from the sale of merchandise, gift cards and discount coupons sold through the Groupon website."
She claims they "entered into unauthorized and off-the-books side deals with multiple distributors and vendors to exclusively sell certain products in their restaurants and clubs in exchange for a commission on sales and/or a flat fee," but rather than deposit the money into restaurant accounts, they "would add these monies to their 'ledger' and spilt the funds between themselves."
Arazm claims Malin and Moore used "freebies" to travel at "Arazm's and the restaurant group's expense," to "pay for sex," and to gamble away "hundreds of thousands of dollars that never belonged to them."
She claims that Malin used "company resources and assets embezzled from plaintiffs to facilitate" multiple sexual encounters "with various older men during which Malin would live out fetish role play fantasies ... playing out Malin's versions of a father/son and uncle/nephew relationship."
Arazm seeks more than $1 million in compensatory and exemplary damages for conversion, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.