Lauderdale Is End of the Line for Osama

This Osama doesn't live in a cave (that we know of), but like his namesake, Osama El-Atari has vanished just before the long arm of the law could get him in its clutches . The son of Jordanian immigrants, El-Atari bought the Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre franchise, which until recently had a location in Fort Lauderdale, was to appear in court last week to explain how he would pay back some $41 million in debts. But he didn't show and hasn't been seen since, according to an article in yesterday's Washington Post.

Things began to unravel for El-Atari in December, when Celebrity Ventures, the Florida company that owns the rights to the Original Steakhouse name, sued him in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale. The company alleged that El-Atari had failed to pay about $205,000 in royalty fees. The case was settled out of court.

A collector of Lamborghinis, sports memorabilia and politicians, El-Atari even managed to fit a counter-terrorism agent into his ample pocket, judging by the guilty plea offered last year by Edward Flanagan, who gave El-Atari an official police badge for the Defense Logistics Agency, which provides supplies to American soldiers.

This dudes sounds too flamboyant to stay hidden for long.

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