The DMN reports that Bob Sambol of Bob’s Steak & Chop House was indicted yesterday for theft. Lee Thompson, Jr., a former customer, invested $300,000 in Bob’s and claims Bob hasn’t lived up to promises of expanding the restaurant and adding a wine bar. The indictment will trigger a warrant for Sambol’s arrest. The DMN report says Sambol could face life in prison if convicted.
I just spoke with Sambol. “This whole this has been blown out of proportion,” he said. “This is a business deal gone bad. The guy got angry and he wants his money and I don’t have the money to pay it back. I am not going to prison.”
Asked about the warrant, Sambol says, “I am turning myself in in an hour and I will be back at work as usual tonight.”
UPDATE: Bob Sambol is the owner of the Lemmon Ave. restaurant. He has no ties to the other Bob’s Steak & Chop House locations. I just spoke to Steve Hartnett, owner of the Grapevine location. “We are clean as a whistle and debt free here in Grapevine,” he says. “We pay our bills as soon as they come in.” The Plano location is owned by Bill Lennox who is partnered with Omni Hotels in the deal for the Bob’s in Fort Worth and any future Bob’s locations.
UPDATE: Lee Thompson’s attorney Chris Lewis of Crain Lewis, L.L.P.issued the following statement:
Mr. Thompson is saddened by the indictment of Bob Sambol. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Sambol were friends for many years. Mr. Sambol traded on this friendship and created the false pretense of a business deal to take $300,000 from Mr. Thompson. Even after the ruse was discovered and Mr. Sambol refused to return the money, Mr. Thompson tried to help his friend. Upon learning of Mr. Sambol’s numerous debts and suspected gambling problems, Mr. Thompson arranged for multiple professionals to assist Mr. Sambol with his financial situation, at no cost to Mr. Sambol. Mr. Sambol refused this help. After more than a year of Mr. Sambol’s excuses and false promises, the District Attorney’s Office chose to refer this case to a Dallas County Grand Jury. Despite Mr. Sambol’s numerous debts and obligations, he continues to cling to an extravagant lifestyle including membership at the exclusive Dallas National Golf Club.