On Monday, restaurateur Nino Selimaj filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for his restaurant Nino's Tuscany Steakhouse on 58th Street. According to the court filing, Nino's Tuscany has a debt of up to $1 million. Selimaj also says that he's planning to file for bankruptcy protection for four of his other restaurants around the city.
Two years ago, the State Attorney's office found that Nino was guilty of stiffing his employees of their hourly pay. Last year, he paid over $500,000 in back wages to his former employees, and he had to cover extensive legal fees. He also ran into problems when he turned to a merchant account advance company called AdvanceMe for a loan of $350,000, which he couldn't repay. In court documents, Selimaj describes this company as "nothing short of loan sharking."