Celebrity baker sued
Just desserts are rarely sweet to the ones who have to provide them.
Just ask Brooklyn’s own Cake Man Raven, who was sued Monday by a group of disgruntled employees who claimed that they never got the bread – money, that is – they were promised.
In a class action suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, the bakery genius-turned-businessman, whose real name is Raven Patrick De’Sean Dennis, owes at least 15 employees upwards of $50,000 in overtime pay that’s accumulated over the last six years.
The suit is being spearheaded by a cake-icer, who claims that he has only gotten paid $500 for a 60-hour work week and another employee who said he quit after years of receiving no overtime pay.
The suit is seeking to regain the lost wages from the Raven, who is known for his delectable confections and signature red velvet cake. His list of satisfied employees includes rapper 50 Cent, Oprah, Robert DeNiro and Regis Philbin, to name a few.
Bruce Menkin, the attorneys for the disgruntled employees, explained that his clients were supposed to be paid time-and-a-half overtime, except for supervisors and sales-people, who work on commission.
When contacted by reporters, Raven admitted that he does not pay overtime, but shows his appreciation with bonuses.
“[The lawsuit] is news to me,” he told the Daily News. “I can’t get [enough] employees to produce the cakes.”
Those in the lawsuit claimed that they never received a bonus.
The (sales) tax man cometh
Kings County prosecutors have indicted an East New York used car dealer on charges that he failed to pay sales taxes on his vehicles between 2003 and 2006 while that charge was factored in the car’s purchase price.
Officials said that Akpan Charles Akpabio, 64, was charged with grand larceny in the second degree, 13 counts of grand larceny in the third degree and 14 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, as well as other charges for allegedly spearheading the scam that was uncovered by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
If convicted of the charges, he could receive up to 15 years in prison, officials said.
According to the indictment, Akpabio made upwards of $3.5 million selling cars at his dealership at 1676 East New York Avenue between 2003 and 2006.
During those three years, he allegedly failed to pay $300,000 in sales taxes – money that he had already collected from the buyer.
State records show that Akpabio hasn’t paid quarterly tax returns for the business in the last 10 years.
Several of the cars Akpabio was selling were seized as cops swooped in and arrested him last week, officials said.
Not too timely
A borough man allegedly abused by police nearly lost an opportunity to sue the city because he had filed his complaint too late, according to court documents.
During a last minute plea, Judge Robert Miller granted plaintiff Chris Navarro’s request to file a late notice of claim against the police for a beating he allegedly took at the hands of police officers during an arrest two years ago.
Navarro, who was arrested for public drinking on October 12, 2006, was ordered to provide police with ID, but did not want to do so because he had violated his parole for an earlier crime.
During the exchange over the ID, the cops allegedly attacked him and sent him to the hospital with “bruising, contusions and a broken bone to his right temple,” according to court papers.
A short time later, cops found out about the parole violation and arrested him, officials said.
While in prison that November, Navarro allegedly asked his girlfriend to file an assault claim against the police involved in the arrest for him.
His girlfriend, he claimed, sat on the claim before mailing it.
When city officials finally received the notice of claim, it was on January 13 – three days after the ninety-day period allowed for such claims to be submitted.
His attorney, who was in the process of filing a civil rights action against the police for Navarro, didn’t realize that the claim had missed the filing date until it was too late.
Navarro’s civil suit was in jeopardy until Judge Miller determined that the claim was served “within a reasonable time thereafter” and granted late petition.
City officials do not comment on pending litigation.
©2008 Community News Group
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