Client Story: Protecting the Family Business

Costas Anastas owned a successful family restaurant for 22 years. Most of his staff had been with him almost as long. Costas needed more help so he hired a new employee. After a year, the new employee filed a lawsuit against Costas and the restaurant for not properly documenting and paying out meal breaks.

The employee found an enterprising plaintiff’s attorney who recruited several other employees into the lawsuit. In the aggregate, they claimed that the Costas owned them over $1 million in missed pay and penalties (mostly penalties).

This was much more than the restaurant was worth. The lawsuit would bankrupt the business (Costas’ sole source of income) and could result in the plaintiff pursuing Costas’ personal assets. This is a very common situation that usually puts the business on the losing side.

We set up a new corporate structure for the restaurant (owned by a family member) and structured the sale of the restaurant’s assets (goodwill and equipment) to the new corporation. The old restaurant corporation was left with no assets to pursue. We also pursued various structures for Costas’ personal assets. The plaintiff’s lawyer settled the case for $15,000 per employee, a result that Costas was happy with.

If you want to learn more about protecting your business assets, contact Maximum Asset Protection today at 818-465-2123.