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On the Bob's Steak & Chop House Hotline, Bankruptcy and Criminal Cases Collide

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A couple of weeks back, we mentioned that the U.S. Trustee handling Bob's Steak & Chop House's Chapter 11 reorganization wanted Judge Harlin D. Hale to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee to replace owner Bob Sambol. Because, see, as far as Willliam Neary's concerned, Sambol -- operating here as Silveroak Holdings, Ltd. -- has far too many conflicts to best serve the "interests" of the myriad creditors to whom he owes money. Among the conflicts: Lee Thompson's gone-missing $300,000 investment in Bob's, which led to the criminal indictment by the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

After the jump, you'll find Sambol attorney Mark Ralston's response to Neary's motion, which was filed on Tuesday. Ralston says, in essence, that Sambol had always been up front about the criminal case and, for now, it's nothing "more than [an] allegation of wrongdoing by Mr. Sambol." He also dismisses Neary's other concerns, including the possiblity of Sambol's selling out to former partner Bill Lenox. Writes Ralston, "The fact that a party formerly involved with Silveroak may be interested in acquiring Silveroak's business does not in and of itself mean that it is the best interests of creditors to appoint a chapter 11 trustee."

Now, back to the criminal case pending against Sambol. Because there is an update.

I spoke a moment ago with Nicholas Cariotis, chief of the Check Division/Task Force on Identity Fraud at the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the man charged with prosecuting Sambol. He says that on Wednesday, he's scheduled to meet with Sambol and his attorney Heath Hyde, a former Dallas County prosecutor, to discuss how Sambol intends to pay back the $300,000. "And with what means they can do it," Cariotis says.

"Bankruptcy doesn't preclude moving forward on the criminal case," he says. "We'll sit and evaluate [their proposal], and I can't tell you what we'll do till we see it, but it will involve paying this up front. I am not offering him probation with that much money."

Should Hyde and Sambol not offer a proposal to the District Attorney's Office's liking, Cariotis says he will ask Judge Larry Mitchell to set a court date.

And, yes, Bob's remains on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's credit law delinquency list; but as you can see, he bought quite a bit of booze back in June, and, per TABC regulations, he can buy beer from a distributor, only if he can pay before or at time of delivery.Bob Sambol's Response to Trustee

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