Several employees spoke to the Eagle on condition of anonymity. One said that other employees may have been in on the scheme, and had been fired. He added that workers’ checks had bounced multiple times, although not recently.
According to the Eagle, Kaufman was merely a manager:
“He [Kaufman] was hired to get these restaurants into shape after they opened,” he said. He added that one of the reasons for the alleged credit-card fraud, in addition to personal gain, may have been to inflate sales figures.
The employee also said that “Kaufman was the manager, but he represented himself as the owner.”
However, that can’t be entirely true — He had to have had more than a simple managerial role. We know for a fact (from a source in Vermont) that Uncommon Grounds, the first incarnation of The Wine Bar On Henry, was named after Kaufman’s favorite hangout in Burlington, Vermont, and Busy Chef is the name of another place in Burlington, Vermont Busy Chef, where chefs prepare ready-made gourmet meals for on-the-go customers (sound familiar?). It sounds like he had a larger role than manager.
The Eagle mentions “The actual owners, whom he described as two men named Alan Young and one whose first name was David, haven’t yet contacted anyone on staff about the situation, he added.” Alan Young is a local lawyer who has been involved in the various “Corner of Cranberry” places as well as several other local ventures in the past (usually partnered with Ghorchian). The “David” we presume is David Seatts, the other name listed on the pending liquor license for Busy Chef on Court Street (under the guise of Blue Pig). David Seatts owns and operates the Tavern On Nostrand, in Crown Heights, where Mr. Young’s name is attached to the liquor license. According to the Time Out NY description, David worked as a contractor for a decade, “doing face-lifts on Brooklyn mainstays like Chez Henry and Cafe Buon Gusto”.