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CNY Denny’s owner to pay $2M for COVID funding falsehood, U.S. attorney says

in Local News 91 views

The owner of multiple Denny’s restaurants in Central New York and elsewhere agreed to pay $2 million for falsifying facts on a grant application to become eligible for government funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman announced Wednesday afternoon.

Feast American Diners LLC and Dawood “David” Beshay, owner and managing member of Denny’s restaurants in Syracuse, Auburn, Camillus, Cicero and Watertown, as well as Arizona, will pay the $2 million to resolve allegations he falsely certified Feast American Diners was eligible for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant, when he, in fact, operated too many locations to qualify for the funding, Freedman said.

In a settlement agreement, the LLC and Beshay admitted applying for an RRF grant on behalf of Feast American Diners in May 2021 for $928,554 while indicating he did not own or operate more than 20 Denny’s locations – the maximum number eligible for an RRF grant – when Feast American Diners owned 21 Denny’s locations at the time, which Beshay acknowledged he should have known, Freedman said.

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Denny’s closes in Watertown

in Local Business/Local News 256 views

WATERTOWN — Denny’s restaurant on Arsenal Street has closed — this time for good.

Cheryl A. Mayforth, director of the Jefferson County Department of Employment and Training at The Workplace, got word about the closing on Tuesday night.

She emailed the owner of the franchise, Feast American Diners of Murrieta, California, on Wednesday morning and was told the closing was permanent.

The company blamed “a lack of sales,” and it tried to make a go of it “but the situation was not sustainable,” she said.

Employees were told about the closing at the beginning of their shift on Tuesday afternoon but were not given an explanation or confirmation on whether it was permanent.

No one was at the restaurant on Wednesday and it was dark.

About 25 full- and part-time employees worked at the restaurant. All the Denny’s signs were taken down on Wednesday.

The Denny’s was one of the first businesses to close when the COVID-19 pandemic began March 2020. The Watertown restaurant was one of 15 in New York, including in Rochester, Geneva and Auburn, that Feast American Diners closed then.

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