Even during a much-publicized expansion, press releases galore, Hakkasan is struggling to hold on and survive. After a year that started with our investigation into their ownership and investment by Khadem Al Quabaisi, who know sits in prison, the company seems to be crumbling into chaos, even with an impending sale.
At the head of the company was the now departed Neil Moffitt, who claimed that our original investigations into the company were false and misleading – and graced us with an interview just last year denying almost everything. He claimed at that time, he had no intent in leaving the company – and brushed away anything regarding money laundering investigations.
Since then our investigations have shown that he wasn’t completely honest: Last summer we did an extensive article into the connections between the companies, and found that Hakkasan was indeed funded by illegal and stolen money, tainting their entire company. His attorney at the time called and attempted to have this article retracted, saying it was “ruining” their chance for sale, and we were costing them “tens of millions of dollars.”
Last year I predicted they had less than 6 months left, and they would have to either sell their assets or sell the company – and they are desperately trying to do this, before the DOJ perhaps seizes their assets, with a sale to SBE Group.
The problem still is that Hakkasan is part of an active money laundering investigation, and with a $500 Million investment in the company with funds that clearly have been shown to be illegally obtained, and purchase could mean that the company buying would also have to pay that money back.
Similarly, according to some reports, Hakkasan hasn’t been paying their vendors, leaving accounts unfilled and unpaid as far back as 2015. They were talking to people at the start of 2016 about trying to sell the company, so this practice could easily be part of an attempt to make them look profitable.
On another note, most of the Vegas “journalists” have been bought and sold, with every single paper just spouting the press release contrived bullshit, worried that they could lose advertising budgets and the free table service. It was just plain sad yesterday to see at least five local publications completely ignore the scandals, despite reports in the WSJ, Post and other papers in the last year about our reporting and investigations.