Bow Truss owner Phil Tadros files for bankruptcy protection – Consumer News

on Feb28

27 February 2018 | 7:13 pm

Bow Truss owner and CEO Phil Tadros has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but a U.S. trustee wants the case dismissed, saying it was filed improperly.

Tadros self-filed the petition and said he was doing business as two companies: Bow Truss and Doejo.

A corporation cannot self-file for bankruptcy, so the filing “constitutes the unauthorized practice of law and renders the filing of this case null and void,” according to a motion to dismiss filed by the U.S. trustee for the Northern District of Illinois on Feb. 23.

Also, two limited-liability corporations cannot file a joint petition, according to the motion.

In his petition, filed Feb. 16, Tadros estimated his assets at between $500,000 and $1 million and liabilities at between $1,000,001 and $10 million. He estimated his number of creditors at between one and 49. (Read the Chapter 11 filing and the trustee’s motion below.)

Tadros—who founded Bow Truss, what was once a chain of 11 coffee shops; Doejo, a marketing and branding agency; and a variety of other food, beverage and tech-related businesses over the years—also faces a lawsuit alleging wage theft, failure to pay overtime wages and tips, and unlawful wage deductions.

Nine Bow Truss locations shuttered in January 2017 after unpaid employees walked out. According to its website, two shops, in River North and the Loop, are still open. However, the River North location near the Merchandise Mart appears to be closed.

In July, Tadros self-filed a $38 million defamation lawsuit against Crain’s related to a 2016 investigative article about his business practices. He also sued Marcus Lemonis, the entrepreneur and reality television star who changed his mind about buying a majority stake in Bow Truss in early 2017. Tadros sought $26 million in that case.

Reached briefly by phone today, Tadros said, “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re writing about this? It’s your fault. Crain’s is the reason all of this happened.”

According to the bankruptcy documents, Tadros owes more than $2.1 million to his 20 largest unsecured creditors. His biggest debt to that group, $1.3 million, is owed to BizCapital, a New Orleans-based company that provides loans to small and midsized businesses. The next largest creditor in that group is Bond Street, a New York company that also offers financing to small businesses; Tadros owes it $200,000, according to the filing.

Earlier:

How this serial entrepreneur built businesses, made enemies

Phil Tadros sues Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis countersues Tadros

Alleging wage theft, workers sue Tadros

Other creditors include Davis Friedman, a Chicago law firm that specializes in divorce, to which he owes $60,000; JPMorgan Chase, to which he owes $70,000 for a car loan; “United Airlines Visa,” to which he owes $95,000; and other loan providers and credit card companies.

The wage-theft lawsuit remains active in federal court, with a status hearing set for March 14. Two of Tadros’ prior attorneys withdrew from the case, citing his failure to pay their fees, according to court documents.

Scott Kane, an attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of 10 former Bow Truss employees, said via email: “After a year of slogging through three different defense counsels, two bankruptcy proceedings, and numerous missed litigation deadlines, we remain steadfast and resolutely committed” to the effort. “We took this case knowing it was going to be a grind from day one.”

The other bankruptcy proceeding Kane references was an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed by Michelle Spooner, Tadros’ ex-wife, in February 2017.

Tadros is embroiled in other lawsuits, too. Josh Elyachar, a former investor in Bow Truss and Aquanaut, a now-defunct brewery, sued him. Tadros remains involved in litigation with his former business partner, Jared Leonard, over a Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant chain called Budlong.

Tadros also sued Alan Matthew, a former investor. He refiled that suit, again on behalf of himself, Feb. 13 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Tadros filing

Trustee Motion



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