Restaurant Swindler

Simi Estiatorio was a beautiful restaurant to anyone who walked in, held up on false promises and one too many lies. I was their Private Event Coordinator and a floor manager. During SXSW Simi ran short-staffed with an average of 3 servers, 1 bartender, and 1 manager every night. Everyone on staff worked very hard for the team's sake and the reward of a hefty paycheck. Our staff was exhausted; with SXSW in the rearview, to give everyone a break management decided to revert to our old schedule and close Sunday & Monday (03/20 & 03/21). During this time, the "restaurant owner" George Theodosiou was fully MIA. No one had seen him aside from his quick visit to dine in the main dining room Saturday night, 03/19. On Wednesday, 03/23 it was confirmed he skipped town and would not be returning. Along with this news, we learned that we were now being evicted by our own own investors property management company, ECR. Simi Management was able to retrieve paychecks from the Accountant, we reached out to staff to let them know we would not be open anymore and to come pick up their final check. Very quickly the news started rolling in that the account had insufficient funds, only 5 employees have been able to receive funds from their checks. Half of our employees have been unable to retrieve their paychecks because the property management company says they know for a fact there are no funds in the account, while this is true I still think they have the right to those checks. Yesterday 03/24 one of the servers attempted to cash their check, only to be notified that the account had been closed. None of the kitchen staff has been paid, majority of front of house has not been paid. This is not fair for my team, with rent and other bills coming due soon. They are struggling to find quick employment to supplement their unexpected losses. I understand that Mr. Theodosiou should be held responsible and we should sue, but after speaking with several lawyers, they have confirmed that because Simi was an LLC (limited liability company) owned by George, no legal action would resolve payroll recovery. The accountant disclosed the necessary amount to cover payroll and that reflects our goal amount. If you are able to donate please do, any donation big or small would be greatly appreciated by my team, they would be so gracious. Thank you! **UPDATE** We are floored with the amount of donations we have received, because we are unsure that we will complete our goal I want to assure everyone that I am working with an accountant to evenly allocate funds to everyone owed based on the payroll. This page will stay open for a couple more weeks in hopes to reach at least a fifth of our goal. Thank you again so much for any donation or awareness spread. Cheers.
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Benita Martinez
Austin, TX

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