CHICAGO (CN) – A former business partner of Chicago developer Antoin “Tony” Rezko claims he was cheated of $15 million when Panda Express bailed out Rezko by buying Panda Express Chicago “at a price many times less than the fair value”.
Plaintiff Semir Sirazi claims that at the time of the purchase – June 2006 – he owned “a significant majority of PE Chicago. Panda Express, however, fraudulently conspired with Rezko to acquire PE Chicago’s entire interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership without Sirazi’s knowledge and at a price far less than the fair value of such interest.”
Rezko-Citadel “was Panda Express’ first and only licensee to own and operate Panda Express restaurants in the United States,” the complaint states.
Panda Express is a chain of fast-food Chinese restaurants.
The complaint states: “From 1993 to 2006, Panda Express, Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko, and various Rezko-controlled companies owned and operated numerous Panda Express restaurants in 5 Midwestern states, the majority of which were in the Illinois-Chicagoland area. In June of 2006, knowing that Tony Rezko was under severe financial and legal distress, and desperate for funds, Panda Express, among other improper action, bought out PE Chicago, LLC’s 50% interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership – the entity that owned and operated the Panda Express restaurants – at a price many times less than the fair value of that interest.”
Samir demands damages for conspiracy, fraud, unjust enrichment, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfer.