Robert DeNiro Scores $28M in Gov’t Loans; Refuses to Return $$$ to Bklyn School for Canceled Florida Trip on Passover

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Actor Robert De Niro and his co-founders — celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa and film producer and entrepreneur Meir Teper — own 39 restaurants and eight luxury hotels across five continents. Photo Credit: AP

By: Alana Mastrangelo (Breitbart) & JV Staff

Nobu, the posh, high-end restaurant and hotel chain — backed by left-wing actor and raging Trump-basher Robert De Niro — took more than a dozen loans from the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as was reported by Breitbart.

In DeNiro’s eyes, President Trump is a “mean-spirited, soulless, amoral, abusive con-artist son of a bitch.” But that didn’t stop one of the actor’s prime investments from using the Trump administration’s loan program for cash, a loan program meant to help keep small business wrecked by the Chinese coronavirus financially afloat.

Breitbart.com reported that the Nobu chain of luxury restaurants and hotels took 14 loans from the U.S. small business relief program for as much as $28 million, which went toward properties across the country, from California, to Texas, to New York, according to a report by CNBC. Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa — the celebrity chef and owner of the restaurant chain — has a net worth of $200 million. Meanwhile, Robert De Niro — who co-founded it — is worth an estimated $500 million.

Restaurants were among the biggest recipients of PPP loans, which were part of the government’s response to financial difficulties that businesses faced during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The report added that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the program was not meant to go toward companies that could reasonably tap other forms of capital during the pandemic.

The luxury chain, an upscale Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant. was founded in 1994 by De Niro, Matsuhisa, and film producer Meir Teper, who combined are estimated to have a net worth of roughly $700 million.

The Nobu group appears to have garnered at least $11 million and as much as $28 million from PPP loans, making it one of the bigger beneficiaries of the program. And the luxury group is not the only well-funded chain to have received government bailouts.

P.F. Chang’s, Five Guys hamburgers. and Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits have also received multimillion-dollar loans. Cafe business Bluestone Lane was also given a loan worth between $5 million and $10 million.

The report added that franchisees of both McDonald’s and Wendy’s also appeared on the list and in some cases received loans of more than $150,000.

As was previously reported by the Jewish Voice, one of the  hotels One of the hotels that DeNiro owns is the Nobu Miami Beach. It is located inside and next to the Eden Roc and is considered a hotel within a hotel.

The Eden Roc which expanded in 2008 with a second tower has undergone another renaissance with the arrival of Nobu Hotel, since October 2016.

According to sources close to the Eden Roc and its management, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Nobu shares the same guest policies with the Eden Roc. Now, the question arises:  Is it possible that Robert DeNiro and his business partners are responsible for adamantly refusing to refund money to customers who booked rooms at the Eden Roc for Passover?

According to published reports, Brooklyn’s Magen David Yeshiva had planned to spend their Passover holiday at the iconic Eden Roc hotel in South Beach, however the deadly pandemic that has been ravaging the world has prevented New Yorkers from leaving home.

The private school, established in 1946 and rooted in Sephardic Jewish tradition, services students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. As with schools across the nation, the viral outbreak has forced the Brooklyn campus to shutter and move classes online, as was reported by the Miami Herald.

Working with the tour operator, Elegant Travel, the school first booked a Passover trip in 2018, and followed up with another in 2019. Then, it signed a three-year contract to keep the event at the hotel.

Because of rapid spread of the Coronavirus, Magen David had no other option but to cancel the trip. Eden Roc, however is refusing to issue a refund to the school for its down payment of $2.3 million. The school had rented 621 rooms at the iconic hotel for 10 nights for their 1200 guests to enjoy all of the amenities that the hotel provided

According to the breach of contract lawsuit filed by Magen David’s attorney in Miami-Dade circuit court, the school has cited a passage in the contract that would allow for a cancellation in the event of a “disease outbreak.”

On March 18th, the school (working with the tour operator Elegant Travel) formally cancelled the trip. Within days, New York’s governor issued a statewide “shelter-in-place” order that forbade travel and Miami Beach ordered hotels to cancel existing reservations, according to the Miami Herald report.

At about the same time, the Eden Roc summarily rejected the notion that disease outbreak was a legitimate or credible reason for the trip to be canceled and according to the court filings, said that the Eden Roc will ‘retain the entirety” of the school’s deposit.

Magen David’s attorney, Daniel Blonsky of the Miami law firm, Coffey Burlington, told the Jewish Voice that the contract agreed upon by Magen David, Elegant Travel and the Eden Roc includes a provision entitled “Force Majeure” which grants legal permission for the school to cancel the contract for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the outbreak of disease. The lawsuit reveals that the other matters include “acts of G-d, natural disasters, union strike, terrorist attacks in the city in which the hotel is located, or declared war on the United States.”

Moreover it includes the following: “In the event that the Force Majeure event causes Group (Magen David) to cancel the Event, all monies paid to the Hotel shall be returned to Group.”

According to an unnamed source familiar with the case, the obstinacy on the part of the Eden Roc is emanating from the ownership, which is based in Mexico. The source also revealed that the Eden Roc is an asset of Key International (key-international.com) and is managed by brothers Inigo and Diego Ardid, who are co-presidents. Said the source, “Diego seems to be the one responsible for the Eden Roc. They’re originally from Spain.”

 

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