Embattled nightclub impresario Sam Nazarian is facing allegations that he failed to pay $120,000 to store an expensive sports car, according to a recent lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes as the Nevada State Gaming Commission is keeping a close eye on Nazarian's character and business operations. Nazarian won a gaming license in December despite an investigation that uncovered cocaine use and questionable payments to convicted felons. The commission approved the license after Nazarian pleaded for leniency and agreed to submit to frequent, random drug tests.
The lawsuit, filed last month by Reginald Foreman, alleges that Nazarian and his former brother-in-law, Sharyar Baradaran, asked Foreman on Feb. 1, 2005, to store and maintain a 1999 Ferrari 456 M GTA. But Foreman said in the suit that he has never been paid.
Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney for Nazarian, described the allegations as "absurd on their face." Nazarian doesn't know Foreman, never owned the car and was never contacted about any outstanding storage payments, Petrocelli said.
Baradaran, a Beverly Hills periodontist, did not return calls seeking comment.
The lawsuit asks the court to force Nazarian and Baradaran to pay damages in excess of $120,000, as well as punitive damages and legal costs. Foreman still has the Ferrari but can no longer store it, said Foreman's Beverly Hills attorney, Robert M. Ball.
Foreman said in the lawsuit that he believes Nazarian and Baradaran "never made a payment so that they could conceal their connection to the disappearance of the vehicle."
Baradaran reported the car stolen in 2004, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department. The car is now registered to National Union Fire Insurance, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Ball is facing possible suspension by the California State Bar. He has been disciplined twice before for failure to perform legal services with competence, failure to refund unearned fees and acts of moral turpitude, according to state records.
In the latest case, Ball has allegedly failed to show proof that he passed a State Bar ethics school and failed to submit proof that he made restitution payments to a former client.