Trouble at Sissy’s Fried Chicken: Lisa Garza Sues Partner For Fraud

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Lisa Garza (Photo: Micah Nunley)

Late yesterday, Lisa Garza Selcer, co-owner of Sissy’s Fried Chicken, filed a lawsuit against her business partner Thomas Welch. According to the document, Garza, a 51% majority member, accuses Welch,a  49 % minority member, of making withdrawals from the restaurant’s bank account and not paying them back. The original Membership Agreement required any checks or withdrawals in excess of $5,000 be signed by both partners. The lawsuit states:

In complete disregard of the Membership Agreement’s provisions – and from practically the beginning of Sissy’s operations – Welch abused his position as Sissy’s accountant (and as a partner in the business) by stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of Sissy’s money for his own use, without Garza’s consent, which is required under the Membership Agreement.

More egregiously still, Welch tried to hide his theft by denying Garza – the majority owner of  Sissy’s – access to the books and records of Sissy’s, including access to its bank accounts. Welch’s undisclosed (and unauthorized) withdrawals, totally more than $237,000, have placed Sissy’s at imminent risk of immediate and irreparable harm by, among other things, leaving Sissy’s bank account with an insufficient balance to cover outstanding checks, causing Sissy’s to default on its obligations (including, but not limited to, its property taxes, which are now overdue), and causing Sissy’s to breach its lease agreement.

Garza’s claim continues:

Far from returning the money owed to Sissy’s, as Garza demanded, Welch intentionally, and with the clear intent to ruin Sissy’s business, embezzled an additional $20,000 from Sissy’s bank account(s) on 12 February 2014, further compounding the untenable situation for Sissy’s business operations. In addition to his further thefts, Welch has openly stated his intent to further harm Sissy’s business by interfering with Sissy’s TABC-issued on-premise liquor license.

I reached out to Garza, her publicist, and lawyer. She is unavailable for comment.

11 comments on “Trouble at Sissy’s Fried Chicken: Lisa Garza Sues Partner For Fraud

  1. This is really upsetting news. If it is true and he did steal money from the restaurant then I feel sorry for Garza. My husband and I eat there quite regularly and she is always visible. Too bad when you trust the wrong person to oversee the money and get screwed. I hope she gets it worked out.

  2. “required any checks or withdrawals in excess of $5,000 be signed by both partners.” so does this mean he was writing checks or withdrawals for under $5K? could she not log onto the bank account via the interwebs and check the balances?

  3. If he’s been stealing, she needs to also contact the FBI or the Secret Service to hold him criminally liable, as well. Speaking with them, whether he’s prosecuted or not, may also help her know better how to proceed in her civil suit.

  4. Surely you people aren’t so naive to believe there is only one side to that story! Let’s not call in the Calvary just yet, it does have to be proven in a court of law there has actually been a crime.

  5. If the food was even moderately good, I would care. As it is, I don’t. Farewell Sissy’s – can’t wait to see what’s next for this location!

  6. Its not surprising. She is not the only victim. If you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen. How can a partnrr(lisa) never look at a bank statement. As usual shewants to be the looks not the know how. Lisa you have been in biz for long enuff. GET YOU OWN MONEY. BUT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER NOT TELLING THAT FAR FETCHED STORY YO THE BANK. AND DONT ASK FOR CHARACTER WITNESSES FROM OLD FRIENDS YOU USED GETTING THERE. TRY AUDITIONING FOR SURVIVOR.

  7. Did he steal her Romulan hair cut? Could that be the real reason for the lawsuit? Give it back to Lisa…..The Dallas Star Trek convention isn’t too far away!