Michael Shah seeks to bar former partner from restaurant

Restaurateur's attorney paints Shah a wealthy businessman who "can step on people"

From left: Michael Shah and Matthew Levine
From left: Michael Shah and Matthew Levine

A New York State Supreme Court judge will hear more arguments today in the case of a $20 million lawsuit between Michael Shah, CEO of DelShah Capital and a former partner at Lower East Side eatery Sons of Essex.

Restaurateur Matthew Levine alleged he was pushed out of the venture in a suit filed in July. Shah’s lawyers have said that Levine’s suit lacks sufficient evidence for a lawsuit and that Levine must resubmit it to the court. If approved at the hearing, Levine will have start fresh with a new lawsuit.

Shah is seeking a permanent injunction that will prevent Levine from walking into Sons of Essex ever again. Oral arguments in the case are set for Oct. 21.

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Shah is also asking that Levine return $30,000 that he claims he stole from him, when writing checks to himself “in excess of his salary without any justification,” Shah said.

Levine denied Shah’s charges to Grub Street. Levine’s attorney Thomas Decea called Shah “a guy who has money and can step on people.”

Levine has claimed that Shah and another partner allowed accountant Victor Jung – convicted for embezzling $1.3 million from NBC Universal in 2008 – to steal from Sons of Essex. Levine also said Shah filed fraudulent paperwork and used restaurant resources to host fundraisers for mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate candidate Reshma Saujani, as previously reported. [Grub Street]Mark Maurer