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• In a July 2003 case, Viastar Holdings sued Dadon to block him from representing himself as part of the company. "It's time that his tactics are stopped," Viastar President John Aquilino said. The judge temporarily halted Dadon from acting on the company's behalf, and the two sides reached a settlement in May 2004.
• In December of that year, Hairmax International, a Fort Lauderdale-based salon and hair product firm, sued Dadon for $5 million in Fort Lauderdale, alleging he failed to deliver the agreed-upon rights to an action flick called Revenge Games. A judge dismissed the case in October 2004. Cheryl Picariello, a notary involved in the case, says Dadon demanded documents from her, claiming he was an FBI agent, according to court records. "It's the worst experience I've had," she contends. "He said he would make trouble for me and my business."
The dispute between Abboud and the Dadons began a few months after the Spago dinner. Abboud, a Nebraska native, started a company in the online gaming industry in 1996, took it public in 1998, and moved it to Miami in 2002. In 2006, he and other shareholders decided to sell Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities in pieces. One of the buyers was a firm that listed David Dadon's wife, Lydia, and their son Jacob as officers. Abboud said he never dealt with Jacob, a Santa Monica College film major who was slated to become Global's president.
After David Dadon and Abboud reached a verbal agreement, Dadon delayed signing the closing documents and began using a company credit card, Abboud says. Indeed, a November 2006 American Express statement in the name of Jacob Dadon and Global Entertainment lists the elder Dadons as cardholders and shows $22,752.11 in charges. David Dadon's card racked up half of those, including a $4,062.20 stay at the Sofitel Miami.
That same month, Abboud sued the Dadons. During testimony, Jacob Dadon showed almost no knowledge of the company's operations. When asked dozens of questions about Global, the 25-year-old repeatedly responded he could not recall, records show.
"It is simply not credible that the president and chief financial officer of a publicly traded company does not know or recall the answers to these questions," Magistrate Alan Postman wrote.
Says Bryan Abboud: "He has positioned his son as the fall guy. What kind of human does that?"
Replies David Dadon: "He's lying. It never happened. My son opened an account with American Express, and it's all denied."
Last March, Global (listing David Dadon as its chairman) sued Abboud and his lawyer, Al Lindsay, among others, alleging securities fraud. Dadon accused Abboud of stealing $2 million from Global. The suit was later withdrawn and dismissed in May.
In August 2007, Judge Daryl Trawick barred Dadon and his son from taking over Global. He sided with Postman in recommending that the Dadons return Global property as well as cancel and return its stock. The judge referred the case to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Trawick issued arrest warrants for the Dadons in November because they violated his order to appear in court. The judge did so despite a letter from David Dadon pleading to hold the hearing by phone. "I have financial difficulties to travel. I am on heavy medication," he wrote, noting he suffers from heart problems and gout. "Your Honor, I am a father of five children. This case took all our finances and savings. We have no money to pay the attorneys or to pay to move the furniture."
A final hearing on damages in the case and the arrest warrants should be set soon, says Abboud's lawyer, Lindsay.
Meanwhile, Abboud is pushing for a federal investigation. "I spent ten years building that company, and he was stealing it," Abboud says. "The big question is, why the hell hasn't anything been done about him?"
Jacob Dadon filed for bankruptcy in California this past November. Records show him living at his parents' address and list his monthly take-home pay as $891.14 as a chef at a seafood joint.
David Dadon says he plans to head overseas for a few weeks, but he wouldn't say where. "This [dispute with Abboud] is going to be a movie. This is a very interesting story because it's like Wall Street."
Abboud responds with a chortle: "I guess we agree on one thing, but it would be told from a different perspective."