Lawsuit: 'Real Housewives' star defrauded investor $150k in Charlotte bar
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A lawsuit has been filed against a reality TV star after an Atlanta investor says he was swindled out of money for a Charlotte-based nightclub.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Mecklenburg County Court against Peter Thomas, a cast member of Bravo TV's "Real Housewives of Atlanta."
In the lawsuit, Tony Taylor, an Atlanta-based investor, says Thomas convinced him to invest more than $150,000 into a Charlotte nightclub, but hasn't seen the deal come to fruition.
Taylor says he met Thomas's brother, Clyde, in early February at Thomas' Charlotte bar - Sports One Bar and Lounge. According to the lawsuit, Clyde told Taylor that Peter Thomas planned to open another nightclub in Charlotte called Club 1 and was looking for business partners.
Two days later, Taylor says he came back to the bar and met with Peter Thomas. He was offered a 30 percent ownership in the club for an investment of $300,000.
In the lawsuit, Taylor says Thomas promised he'd invested between $2 to $3 million of his own money into the new club. He also reportedly said he'd "arranged with producers of the Bravo network series 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' to have multiple segments of different episodes of the television show filmed at Club 1."
Thomas also alleged he was getting a spin-off show called "What's Peter Doing Now" that would focus specifically on his nightclubs and investments in the Charlotte-area, which would eliminate the need for marketing and advertising.
In the court filing, Thomas reportedly promised Taylor would take an "active role in management from time to time as Thomas was required to travel extensively."
The pair met again several weeks ahead of the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte - this time at Club 1, according to the lawsuit.
That's when Thomas reportedly offered to let Taylor host a CIAA party, featuring R&B singer Carl Thomas, for a loan of $50,000 to cover event costs. In exchange, Taylor would be able to keep the money from cover charges and 20 percent of bar sales.
Thomas paid back the loan, plus $10,000, and an additional $4,000 for the bar sales.
Taylor says Thomas contacted him several times over the next month about investing in Club 1 and on March 30, they met with Thomas' lawyer to discuss a $150,000 investment for a 15 percent ownership. He was also promised regular updates and could access the books "any time you want."
According to the lawsuit, Taylor paid the money through wire transfers and bank deposits over the next 60 days.
Taylor says he was defrauded - saying he has "nothing evidencing an ownership or equity interest in Club 1" and is now suing to get it back.
He's suing for fraudulent inducement, securities fraud, unjust enrichment, constructive fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and violation of punitive damages.
He's requesting his money back plus a jury trial.
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