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Early SushiSamba Investor Claims He Was Cheated Out of Millions in Latin Fusion Profits

The brother of a SushiSamba co-owner says he helped the scene-y restaurant expand, and didn't get anything in return.

He could have been a part of this.
He could have been a part of this.

Brian Johnson, the investor who helped SushiSamba expand the reach of its Japanese-Latin fusion from its now-defunct home on Park Avenue to Greenwich Village, Miami, and Chicago, is now suing the owners of the peak 90s phenomenon for cutting him out of the business. Johnson, an Ohio chiropractor who also happens to be the brother of SushiSamba co-owner Matthew Johnson, says he invested $1 million towards the restaurant's expansion 15 years ago, with the understanding that he would be made an equal partner. Instead, he received a seven percent stake in the Miami location, and a four and three quarters percent stake in the Greenwich Village location. He also apparently got no stake at all in the failed Chicago location, though he claims that hundreds of thousands of dollars from his investment were used to open that place without his permission.

Worst of all, he claims, SushiSamba's owners turned around and sold a 50 percent stake in the Miami restaurant, earning millions for themselves and passing nothing back to him. A lawyer for the SushiSamba team, however, tells DNAinfo that "there is absolutely no truth" to this "frivolous lawsuit."