Skip to main content
(404) 685-8800 Contact Us
Celebrity chef files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Atlanta, GA

Personal Attention & Experience Since 1971 Family-Owned, Family Focused

Client Reviews

Celebrity chef files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

lawyer in a lawyers library

Last month, we wrote about the automatic stay, a useful bankruptcy tool that immediately halts all creditor claims, collections and lawsuits at the moment of a bankruptcy filing. Most often, such a stay fulfills a legitimate need of the bankruptcy filer: to suspend creditor claims, giving the debtor the time and freedom to get his finances in order while also avoiding foreclosure and other financial consequences.

But what happens when a debtor abuses the automatic stay process, using its protections to stall legitimate legal and financial claims? This is the allegation against celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the face of a lawsuit filed against him by over 150 former cooks and other restaurant employees.

Zakarian is a regular on the Food Network, appearing on four programs including “Chopped.” In addition, he owns and operates several prestigious restaurants across the country, all of which have been on the receiving end of much critical acclaim.

The class action lawsuit was filed by former employees of the now-closed restaurant, Country, which was owned by Zakarian and two partners. In the suit, the employees allege that Zakarian failed to pay them sufficient overtime pay, that he falsified payroll records, and that he deducted amounts for staff meals that the employees did not receive. The lawsuit asks for $1 million in damages and an additional $250,000 in penalties.

Early last month, Zakarian filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a federal bankruptcy court, stating that he had only $50,000 in assets and potential liabilities of over $1 million, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit. With the filing, the litigation was put on hold until the bankruptcy is resolved or until a judge rules otherwise.

The attorney for the class of plaintiffs has stated that he does not consider the bankruptcy filing legitimate, and that he will move to have the class action go forward despite the bankruptcy.

Source: The Seattle Times, “Star chef, facing a suit, files for bankruptcy”, Nick Fox, 27 April 2011

Posted on behalf of Gingold & Gingold

1718 Peachtree St NW, #385
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: (404) 685-8800

First Free
Appointment



Disclaimer Privacy Policy

I have read the Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Our Client Reviews

Gingold & Gingold LLC
5.0 / 5.0

Based on 28 reviews

Jack L.

They did an excellent job with my case. Jamie took the time to really listen and understand things. She delved into the details and was extremely knowledgeable and non judgmental. Very professional and they know what they are doing. Would definitely recommend!

All C.

Mr. Gingold was recommended by an attorney I had worked with previously. I met with Ira Gingold to discuss credit issues. He went over each specific issue thoroughly. He advised me of the potential outcomes. He did all this in one meeting for a very reasonable price. When we finished I was confident in moving forward with a resolution. He definitely wants to help people take the appropriate course of action for their circumstance.

Karen B.

Dear Mr Gingold, There are so many reasons to be thankful for all you have done and will do. Anyone who has ever had unfavorable experiences with an attorney or the legal system will feel the trepidation that I experienced once I realized that my situation seemed hopeless. It was by chance and happily good luck that I decided to put my future and sanity into your hands. I was mortified at having to deal with my debts by claiming bankruptcy. I remember in our first meeting how you assured me that I was not alone and should not feel ashamed. And, anyone in this position obviously does not have money to spare and you were clear about all the costs and allowing me to pay according to my own ability to do so. You advised me in all aspects of the law, but also, you were at each meeting incredibly supportive and complementary of my personal and professional plans. Anyone else in this situation should feel blessed to have access to your expertise and support.

Lyla B.

I thought the process of filing bankruptcy was going to be a difficult one. However, Gingold & Gingold treated me with respect and dignity from the moment I walked through their door. I had the pleasure of working with Jamie. She is very responsive, professional, and knowledgeable. She took the time and listened to my every concern and handled each and every one of them to my satisfaction. My experience with filing bankruptcy under Gingold & Gingold's representation exceeded my expectations in a major way. They gave me such a peace of mind. I am very pleased with my decision of going with Gingold & Gingold to represent me when I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Julie T.

Wow! I am finally out of debt and can say that I am debt free after completing my chapter 7 bankruptcy case with Gingold and Gingold. Mr dangled was very knowledgeable and direct with regard to my debt situation. there were no surprises and the case went as I was advised. The staff was also very helpful whenever I had a question. I will definitely recommend them in the future to my friends.

Sherard W.

I cannot say enough about this law firm. From the initial consultation to our discharge, the entire office kept me updated with every step of the entire process. I came to the Gingold after a bad experience with another law firm. Ira and Jamie immediately began treating me like family through this experience. In the end, they assisted with eliminating many debts including my 2nd mortgage. I cannot say enough about the experience and knowledge that Ira brought to the table from the office visits to the court time. Thank you very much for helping me through this tough time. Thank you.

Write a review