Chef, co-owner at Parthenon asks court to take over restaurant, says co-owners took $1M

By Scott Holland | Dec 14, 2016

A chef and minority shareholder in Chicago’s former Parthenon has asked a Cook County judge to intervene in management of the Greek restaurant's assets, saying the father and daughter team who owned the now-shuttered establishment took nearly $1 million for their own purposes.

Sotirios Stasinos, of Norwood Park, filed his complaint Dec. 8, naming as a defendant the Greek restaurant, which was located at 314 S. Halsted St., as well as majority owners Joanna and Christos Liakouras. Joanna owns 25 percent of the business and is listed as corporate secretary. Her father, Christos, owns 50 percent and is president. Stasinos, the head chef, owns the remaining 25 percent. He drew a salary for his job as chef. 

According to the complaint, the Parthenon defaulted on its mortgage in early March. It further alleges Joanna Liakouras also was in default for failing to make payments on a $235,000 personal loan secured with the restaurant’s mortgage. 

Stasinos said he received notification on Sept. 12 from the Illinois Department of Revenue indicating the restaurant owed $114,610 in back taxes, and later heard from the Internal Revenue Service the restaurant also owed $379,771 in federal income taxes and $231,176 in penalties. Stasinos said he asked for financial information, but accused the Liakourases of being “unable and/or unwilling to produce all financial records” as requested. 

The information he did obtain, the complaint continues, “showcase questionable expenditures” and advances, including one to Joanna Liakouras for $364,919 and another to Christos Liakouras for $337,055. 

Stasinos also referenced the early 2002 purchase of Dionisos Resturant, at 310 S. Halsted, financed through the sale of Parthenon corporate stock. On April 23, 2015, Stasinos sold his 25 percent ownership in Dionisos to Lorraine Rieff-Liakouras — Christos Liakouras’ wife — for $10. Soon after, Dionisos opened Aviva Restaurant at that location. The Parthenon balance sheet for the end of 2015 shows “certain loans extended to Dionisos Restaurant Inc. in the amount of $443,684.62.” 

Like the Parthenon, Aviva is no longer open as a restaurant. The complaint said Christos Liakouras and Lorraine Rieff-Liakouras are working to open a sports bar, Ambassador Public House, at the 310 S. Halsted location. 

Stasinos wants the court to order a full accounting of the Parthenon’s books, to determine the fair value of his Parthenon ownership and force the Liakourases to purchase his remaining shares at that price. He asked the court to then formally dissolve Parthenon Restaurant Inc. 

He formally accused the Liakourases of breach of fiduciary duty and seeks compensatory damages of at least $50,000 as well as reimbursement for legal fees and expenses. 

Representing Stasinos in the matter is the firm of SpyratosDavis LLC, of Chicago.

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Illinois Department of Revenue SpyratosDavis LLC

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