The artist formerly known as Jonathan Cheban has become a victim of the catastrophic collapse of an allegedly sketchy burger chain, Page Six has learned.
And we’re told that his lawyers can’t even locate the owners to sue them. Kim Kardashian’s BFF-turned-culinary-guru Foodgod became the face of an apparently booming nationwide brand, Burgerim, last year. He posted gushing reviews of the place on Instgram, writing, “HOLY BURGERS! I love this spot @officialburgerim. WHO WILL SHARE THIS WITH ME?” He even brought along Kardashian, who was snapped leaving a Woodland Hills, Calif., location and was quoted in the press as saying, “It tastes so good!” (Kardashian has no formal link to the company, we’re told.)
But now Foodgod’s fired off a legal letter cutting ties with the brand, as a new report claims that the company aggressively signed up unexperienced franchisees — with apparently no substantial plans to actually run the business once they’d forked over the franchise fee. Many of the alleged victims were “teachers, cooks, accountants [and] police officers,” according to the report, “many of whom drained savings accounts and retirement accounts to pay their fee.”
The report in Restaurant Business describes “an aggressive sales organization that convinced more than 1,200 people to each hand over tens of thousands of dollars.” It opened 200 locations in four years — almost all of which are now closed. In Cheban’s legal letter — seen by Page Six — his attorney demanded that Burgerim pay “all sums due to [Foodgod]” and that it cease and desist using his image or “making representations that Mr. Cheban is liable for any [of the company’s] debt.”
His attorney, Steve Mandell, told us that it’s now a “default situation,” but that the owner “appears to have left the country.” Burgerim couldn’t be reached for comment.