Since I posted this story last night, I received a copy of a final judgement issued by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Lawrence Schwartz, dated April 29, 2014, against Stephane Dupoux for the sum of $1,111,882.50, in the foreclosure case brought against him and his wife for the failure to pay the Homeowners Association maintenance and fees.  The order had not been filed with the clerk when I went looking for the court records.  That Final Order is now posted below.

MAY 2, 2014
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LIKE CATS IN A SACK, IT ONLY TOOK A COUPLE MONTHS FOR THE “OWNERS” OF SEASALT & PEPPER TO FALL OUT AND START SUING EACH OTHER
PART II

Stephane Dupoux, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Carlos Miranda at the Grand Opening

AH, THE FUN DAYS GO BY SO FAST

From the beginning, I had heard rumblings that the owners of Seasalt & Pepper were not getting along. Preoccupied as I was with trying to track down documents about the lack of permits, licenses and trying to find out whether the restaurant was in compliance with the State of Florida and the laws governing the Miami River, I really didn’t have the time to start looking into the personal relationships of the “owners," so I pushed those rumors to the side.


The day after I posted my original story however, that all changed.  Often when I do a big story I will get tips after the story is posted that I should go looking here or there for stuff that I missed.


That happened in this case, when an anonymous source suggested I spend a little time on the Miami-Dade Clerk of Court’s website looking for lawsuits by and against Stephane Dupoux and Carlos Miranda.


It took all of about 2 minutes before I shouted, “Eureka!”


First a couple housekeeping and clarification issues to square away. While the restaurant operates as Seasalt & Pepper, the original corporate name is Hemingway’s Warehouse LLC.


Secondly, in my original story some folks got an impression that the off-duty police and firemen from the City of Miami that worked at the restaurant were paid by the city, as was the case when off-duty cops were paid by the city when they provided protection to Gary Nadar’s Art Gallery.  Not so.  In this case the restaurant paid for the cops and firemen who did the Fire Watch.


Now that we’ve got that out of the way, buckle up boys and girls, because this is another of those only in Miami kind of stories.


( NOTE:  Copies of all the lawsuits are at the bottom of this story.)


IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE  MONEY


From the beginning a question that seemed to pop up whenever I asked someone about this restaurant was where did the money come from.  No one it seemed, had ever heard of Carlos Miranda, and while some folks had heard of Stephane Dupoux, it was as an architect and designer, and not as a principal in any of the projects he had been involved with. 


The money it seems, or at least a very sizable chunk of it came from a guy named Maxwell Drever, who operated an investment fund called Parallel Fund III, LLC. 


From May through October 2013, Drever through Parallel Fund III, LLC invested through a series of short term loans a total of $2,487,979.40.


In an effort to recoup his money Drever got Dupoux, Miranda to agree to institute a Workout and Lockbox Agreement, but  when that didn’t produce any return on his investment Drever, demanded “repayment of the entire loan principal amount; increased interest at a twenty-five percent (25%) and a 30% equity stake in the restaurant.


That didn’t seem right to Dupoux and Miranda, so they filed a lawsuit on April 9th against Parallel Fund III and also against Alex Jaimes and another investment company Tallient LLC.


Dupoux and Miranda had also taken money from Alex Jaimes and Tallient LLC,  and for their investments both of them were to receive a 5% interest in the restaurant. 


The lawsuit filed against Parallel Fund III, LLC, Alex Jaimes and Tallient LLC, claimed that the “Confidential Private Offering Memorandum” between Hemingways, LLC, Seasalt LLC and Parallel Fund III, LLC was non-binding, and that neither Alex Jaimes or Tallient LLC had fully complied with their commitments, and therefore they weren’t entitled to an equity interest in Hemingway’s.


DUPOUX SUES MIRANDA, ET AL.


Now, you would figure that the above lawsuit would be enough to keep everybody busy while watching the profits from the restaurant go to pay lawyer’s fees.


You would be wrong.  A month before that lawsuit was filed, March 3rd to be exact, Stephane Dupoux had sued Carlos Miranda, Alex Jaimes, and Yunexy Eloy representing Tallient LLC for allegedly trying to squeeze him out of the deal.


Dupoux claimed in his lawsuit that Miranda, Jaimes, and Eloy had on “February 21, 2014, purportedly ratified a corporate resolution (the Resolution”) of Hemingway’s LLC, by a majority vote of the members present”  and that said resolution resulted in the following actions:


“a The resolution purportedly retained Miranda’s personal attorney to  serve as “general legal counsel” for the LLCs;


b   stripped Dupoux of his management duties and responsibilities;


c  removed Dupoux as a signatory on the bank account for Hemingway’s;


d appointed Miranda as managing Member of the Hemingways with “authority to make managerial decisions” and “management responsibilities and duties;”


e  removed the marketing director of the Restaurant; and


f  appointed Yunexy Eloy as Corporate Secretary of the Hemingway’s.”


In short, Dupoux would have to stand on the sidewalk and wait for a table like the plebeians.


The most revealing thing that Dupoux revealed in his lawsuit was that the restaurant “was an instant success, earning an average of $300,000 a week.” (Page 3 - Line 14)


I wonder if that includes the supposed $500 table charge that I’ve been told is being charged to those who show up without a reservation.


In any event, Dupoux wants the judge to dissolve the Hemingway’s LLC, impose a temporary injunction to stop Miranda; Jaimes and Eloy from taking any further action based on the Resolution that they passed; appoint a custodian to manage the business and issue a declaratory judgement that he’s still a 50% owner and Jaimes and Eloy can go pound sand.


STEPHANE DUPOUX HAS OTHER LEGAL PROBLEMS


You would think that between the two lawsuit cited above, Stephane Dupoux would have himself more legal hassles that he needed.


Not so, grasshoppers.


In addition to being a Plaintiff, Dupoux is also a Defendant in a couple lawsuits currently making their way through the Miami-Dade County Court system.


First, he’s being sued by his Homeowners Association for failing to pay $12,537.04 in assessments since December 1, 2008.

IMAGE - WORLD REDEYE

DUPOUX VS. MIRANDA, ET AL

SEASALT VS. PARALLEL, LLC, ET AL

FINAL ORDER IN HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION VS. DUPOUX

CRESPOGRAM REPORT

CITY NATIONAL BANK VS. DUPOUX

BARRED FROM NUMEROUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPUTER NETWORKS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH

And, he’s being sued by City National Bank of Florida for failing to repay a $50,000 loan for a Cityline Credit Agreement given to his design company.


SOMETIMES YOU GOT TO WONDER


You got to wonder how, after ponying up the first $343,456.90, what possessed Maxwell Drever to end up chasing that money with another $2,144,152.30? Now, I’m by no means a high finance guy, but this was a restaurant after all, and restaurants, even fancy ones, operate on a pretty straight forward and narrow profit margin - even allowing for some skimming - and the notion that these loans would have been paid back before the restaurant even opened their doors doesn’t seem logical to me unless Mr. Drever comes up with some claims made by Miranda and Dupoux that maybe start with, “When we win the lottery....”


Then you also got to wonder how guys who are supposedly so smart somehow always seem to get played out of pocket by their business partners, or vice versa. Miami seems to be a magnet for guys like this.  How do they continue to operate?  I mean really, some of these guys are clearly candidates for the Darwin Awards, and the fact that they float from deal to deal and often are staples on the society pages getting awards has always been a wonderment to me.


Then of course you got to wonder with so much at stake, just what did it take for the stupid Mayor of Miami and that corrupt bunch of morons in his administration who were supposed to be making sure that businesses didn’t operate without permits and licenses in the City to ignore the flagrant way in which this restaurant opened, and then stayed open for months without a BTR or Certificate of Use or Occupancy?


Did it only take a handful of free meals and a couple bottles of wine, or was some of that $300,000 a week spend on “government relations?”


It’s Miami, Bitches!

UPDATE
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE
ISSUED FORECLOSURE
JUDGEMENT AGAINST DUPOUX 
FOR $1,111,882.50 - GO TO STORY

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