City Hall jacks luxury car to settle tax debt owed by French Quarter bar owner

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The 2002 Bentley that was repossessed

By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |

[Update, 20:30:]

According to petition documents obtained by The Lens, these are the names of the bars, business, and owners that were named in the suit for alleged non-payment of taxes, that led to the seizure of The Bentley: Newport Corporation of Louisiana, Millionaire Boy’s Club, Inc., Rue Bourbon Entertainment, L.L.C., Iberville Management Group, Inc., Bourbon Saloon, Inc., Conti Management Group, Inc., Milliardaire Investment Club, L.L.C., Four-26 Bourbon, L.L.C., Two-37 Bourbon Street, Inc., To Go On Bourbon Street, L.L.C., Dante’s of Decatur, Inc., D/B/A Old Absinthe House, Mango-Mango, Jazz Emporium, Yousef Salem, Samer Aladwan, Hilwa Aladwan, & Carolyn Pierce.

Daniel Rester, listed in the documents as the attorney for the debtors, did not immediately return a call seeking comment this evening.

[Original Post, 15:30:]

Legislator-turned-lieutenant governor-turned Mayor Mitch Landrieu has a new calling: Repo Man.

At today’s meeting of the City Council’s Budget Committee, Landrieu’s Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin cited a seized luxury car as proof of hizzoner’s zeal to crack down on sales and property tax scofflaws.

Seems the city had initiated a lawsuit against an unnamed French Quarter bar owner who owed over $400,000 in sales taxes. When the tax laggard missed an installment on his repayment plan, the city swooped in and seized the Bentley Azure that had been put up as collateral.

The city plans to auction the car, which carried a $350,000 sticker price when new, in 2002.  A legendary brand, once owned by Rolls Royce and now by Volkswagen, Bentley zoomed into pop culture’s vehicular Valhalla as fictional spy James Bond’s speedster of choice.

While Councilwoman Stacy Head was glad to hear that the car had been seized, she wanted to know if the business owner was still operating and if the city could have someone “sit at the cash register” to monitor sales.

Kopplin hastened to point out that the city will proceed cautiously in that respect, not wanting to cut off the very revenue stream that would allow the scofflaw to pay his considerable debts to the public.

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