Union Trust: An F.B.I. Investigation?

On Saturday, Foobooz broke the story of Union Trust declaring bankruptcy. Today, we learned that a Montgomery County man just filed suit against the restaurant and some of the partners involved. In his complaint, Thomas Mackin alleges that he is owed $300,000 for a loan he made to the restaurant while it was under development in 2008. But more interestingly, his complaint claims that Union Trust owner Joe Grasso personally used the money for home improvements and that the F.B.I. is investigating the “Missing Funds”.

“That’s absurd,” says Grasso. “I’ve only put money into this restaurant. I haven’t taken it out.” He says that the plaintiff loaned money to a now-defunct company called Chestnut Restaurant Ventures, which Grasso was not a part of. Of the F.B.I. investigation, Grasso explains that he has personally spoken with the F.B.I. on at least two occasions but that they are not investigating him. He maintains that the F.B.I. matter concerns a former accountant for the restaurant, Steve Smolenski, whom Philly.com described as “missing” last September.

Grasso adds that just this morning, the judge “threw out” the lawsuit because it was “ridiculous,” though a Montgomery County Court administrator indicates that the case was withdrawn over a technicality and that she expects it to be refiled.