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Sep 22, 2017 2:30 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Princess Diner Workers Were Sexually Harassed, Threatened With Deportation, Advocacy Group Says

The Princess Diner DANA SHAW
Sep 26, 2017 2:22 PM

“If you disappear, nobody will look for you.”

It was just one of many threats that employees of the Princess Diner in Water Mill say they were subjected to on a daily basis while working for owner Richard Bivona and manager John Kalogeras, both of whom were arrested last week on felony criminal charges after being accused of failing to pay more than $82,000 in wages over four months last year, and continually lying to their workers about when they would be paid, according to authorities.

The two men also subjected 13 workers, mostly women, to a barrage of threats and intimidation for years, and felt emboldened to do so because their employees were immigrants, according to Martha Maffei, executive director of SEPA Mujer, a local grassroots Latina immigrant women’s rights organization that’s based in Islandia with a local chapter in Hampton Bays. The women also said they were the repeated victims of sexual harassment, she added.

Ms. Maffei said she and SEPA Mujer worked with various law enforcement agencies, including Southampton Town Police, to seek justice for the workers. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office confirmed on Friday, September 22, that state investigators worked with SEPA Mujer in their efforts to indict the restaurant owners. Also included in the indictment was the business, RJT Food and Restaurant LLC, which owns the Princess Diner.

“They would tell them, ‘You don’t have rights here in the United States,’” Ms. Maffei said, explaining what the victims were allegedly told by their employers. “It was very serious, and they were in these conditions for a long time.”

Mr. Bivona, 57, of Water Mill, and Mr. Kalogeras, 56, of Commack—who sold the diner to Mr. Bivona in August 2016—were arrested on Tuesday, September 19, after turning themselves in to Town Police. They were hit with 35 counts, including felony charges of grand larceny. Both were also charged with separate counts of harassment after authorities said they threatened workers, as well as their families, when the employees asked to be paid.

Both men were processed and released the same day on their own recognizance and pending further action, according to the attorney general’s office.

When reached at the Princess Diner on Friday, Mr. Bivona said his lawyer, John Carman of Garden City, advised him not to comment. However, Mr. Bivona confirmed that Mr. Kalogeras was taking a leave of absence from the business.

Mr. Carman said on Tuesday morning that his client had not yet taken over ownership of the diner when most of the alleged criminal activity took place.

“Mr. Bivona has a very recent association with that diner,” Mr. Carman said. “From my understanding, if any of the workers from the diner did not receive what they were entitled to, it was not because of Mr. Bivona. He’s only been the official owner since April of 2017, and the allegations regarding not being paid predate that date.”

As for the allegations of sexual harassment, Mr. Carman said that was the first he’d heard of them.

“Even the Attorney General has not raised anything related to sexual harassment,” he said. “You would hope [the workers] would use some facts to support that.”

Mr. Bivona is due back in Suffolk County Criminal Court on October 20, according to court records.

Mr. Kalogeras, who is due back in court on the same day, did not respond to requests for comment.

His attorney, Robert Schalk of Mineola, said on Tuesday that his client no longer owned the establishment when the alleged criminal activity took place. “He was merely an employee,” Mr. Schalk said of Mr. Kalogeras. “His corporation did not own the diner at that point.”

When asked to comment on the allegations of sexual harassment, Mr. Schalk said: “My client steadfastly denies any allegations of harassment, sexual or otherwise.”

The indictments were the result of a coordinated effort between Town Police, Mr. Schneiderman’s office and the State Department of Labor, but it was an effort that probably wouldn’t have happened without SEPA Mujer. Ms. Maffei explained that one of the women who works at the diner is a member of the group and shared details in December 2016 of the harassment—threats and the withholding of wages that both she and her coworkers were experiencing.

She also explained that several of the workers were hesitant to talk to law enforcement, fearful because of their status as immigrants. Ms. Maffei said she met initially with two diner employees, who were also members of SEPA Mujer’s local chapter, and explained their rights, and eventually did the same with other diner workers. Once they had that knowledge in their hands, she said, they were more comfortable seeking justice.

“No one should be working without compensation, and to make matters worse, the threats that were reportedly made to these individuals to dissuade them from seeking assistance makes the situation even more concerning,” said Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki on Friday. “It has been the policy of the Southampton Town Police Department for quite some time to entertain complaints from crime victims or crime witnesses without regard to citizenship, and this case is an example of our commitment to seek justice for any individual who reports themselves as a crime victim.”

Ms. Maffei commended the Town Police, the attorney general’s office and the State Department of Labor for coordinating together with her group, as well as with another immigrants rights group, Latino Justice.

“This case was successful because of these collaborative efforts,” she said, adding that organizations like SEPA Mujer are crucial in the fight for justice for immigrant workers.

“The role of our organizations is to bring trust,” she said. “[Immigrant workers] will never go to the police without us to facilitate these conversations.”

Ms. Maffei added that the situation at the Princess Diner is, unfortunately, not unique, and she said her organization receives complaints every day from immigrant workers facing similar circumstances in the workplace.

“To see how these people are treated, it’s very painful,” she said. “What hurts me is that people have the choice to work in that condition, be threatened with deportation, or not have food for their family. That’s not fair.”

Chief Skrynecki said his department remains committed to helping members of the community who experience similar treatment at the workplace.

“The message that we are trying to get to a community that is reportedly very nervous about coming forward is that you can come forward without concern,” he said. “Working with organizations like SEPA Mujer and other advocacy groups in the community to help get that message out is something that we appreciate and utilize.”

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"You’re undocumented. You don’t have rights here in the United States."

Turns out that - yes - they do.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 22, 17 3:09 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Oct 5, 17 10:19 AM
Can you please expand on where, exactly, the above statement erred?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 5, 17 10:25 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 4:09 PM
Get them for hiring Illegal workers, not paying comp, taxes too...
By knitter (1898), Southampton on Sep 22, 17 4:28 PM
the illegals had been there for long time some up to 10 years when my friend took over legal ownership in april 2017 he said ok ill need all your tax info social security numbers so i can put you on the books that is when all went to helll and they walked out and later brought this suit which is all filled with lies and lot of slander against my friend case closed
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:46 AM
Yet another example of the terrible effects of illegal immigration and the low life employers who act as magnets for illegals by unlawfully employing them.

If the allegations are true, then the employers should have the book thrown at them.

And once that's done, can we hold the illegal aliens responsible for THEIR law breaking as well, or is accountability to the law only reserved for legal residents and citizens?
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Sep 22, 17 4:37 PM
mr bivona who is very close friend of mine was the note holder meaning he took over the banks position in aug 2016 it wasnt until april 24 , 2017 he finally rec his ny state sales certificate so all charges claims against him are null in void i have the copy of the certificate and i was there i know all the facts from fiction and so should you before you make comments based on what you read not what you know
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:48 AM
Let me process this - the new police chief whose salary is paid with OUR tax dollars gets involved with a Federal and State labor issue that involves undocumented workers when the town administration reported that they will not actively cooperate with ICE to protect the people that pay the town' administration's salaries? In addition, the local chapter of SEPA Mujer seems to be headquartered at 31 Monttauk Highway - the same address as St. Rosalie Church and Centro Corazon de Maria. No surprise ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 7:41 PM
Really??? Protect???
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 22, 17 8:53 PM
I cannot believe the level of hate I am reading here in the comments. To agree to pay workers and then to abuse them when they ask for what they have been promised is about as low as you can go in my estimation. They might not have documents but they are still human beings.
And, fyi, I do not think that SEPA Mujer is located or connected with St. Rosalie's.
By baywoman (165), southampton on Sep 22, 17 8:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
I challenge you to quote what exactly you are calling "hate". All I see is a desire to see our immigration laws enforced.

Is this a sovereign nation entitled to control it's borders or not?
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Sep 22, 17 8:30 PM
I'm assuming they're referring to the deleted comments, though the assertion that ICE on the east end is "protecting" anyone from parents trying to give their kids a better life is pretty offensive.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 24, 17 10:11 AM
Yes Baywoman, please be specific about the level of "hate" in the comments. Our town officials and the leadership of St. Rosalie's have repeated shown their bias in only helping the latino community at the expense of the senior citizens (the abuse at Bishop Ryan) and the hard working middle class tax paying residents of Hampton Bays. It is time the residents stand up for themselves and not fear being called "haters" from a hater like you.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 8:50 PM
'Whats wrong with Baywoman's words. This is about to creepy American employers exploiting illegal working immigrants. I 'd say we all need to be more protected from them then the waning population of illegal in this country.Try staying on point people.
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 22, 17 8:58 PM
Exactly stay on point. Asking everyone to be treated EQUALLY seems have translated on the east end to hate and racism. It is not - it is just equal.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 9:05 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 22, 17 9:02 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By NateNewtown (99), east on Sep 22, 17 9:13 PM
The basic concept of supply and demand is lost on the pro-illegal immigrant activists. They have helped supply the cheap labor that unscrupulous employers prey on. All those involved continue to perpetrate tax and insurance fraud and violate labor laws. It is almost impossible to have a legitimate business on the east end and compete on price. . The legitimate businesses did nothing wrong and they are paying the price.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 10:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Two wrongs do not make it right...
By knitter (1898), Southampton on Sep 23, 17 1:14 AM
Richard and John are total sleazebags. They need to serve time in prison
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 23, 17 5:27 AM
3 members liked this comment
No wonder George left. Always wondered what happened with him.
By disappointed (96), wainscott on Sep 23, 17 5:44 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By disappointed (96), wainscott on Sep 23, 17 5:44 AM
BULD THE WALL!!!!!! No human being should be mistreated but they are ILLEGALS who committed a crime by sneaking into the country and now we laud them as something special? The owners should be charged with hiring illegals!
By mtkfishman (74), montauk on Sep 23, 17 9:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
Glad you're not the judge. Wow sneaking into another country looking for a better life is so criminal. Rolling my eyes! Please.
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 23, 17 5:33 PM
Wow. That's the dumbest comment I've ever read . "wow. Sneaking into a other country looking for a better life is so criminal." Actually it is! When did we lose sight of this ?
By bubby (236), southampton on Sep 24, 17 7:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think it's less losing sight of the law and more a feeling of empathy for folks willing to risk life & limb in search of a better life for their families. Also, a recognition that if presented with similar circumstances we might do the same.

Also, to mtkfishman: how do you know they "sneaked into the country"?

You're right that crossing the border without inspection is a criminal offense, but merely overstaying a visa, which is how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be ...more
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 24, 17 10:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
Either way, someone in the country illegally is subject to deportation. The pro-illegal immigration activists should never have given illegal immigrants the false sense of security that they were not subject to deportation. No one should be mistreated, but when someone has something to hide and unscrupulous people know about it they will use that against a person. If the allegations are true about the diner management, they are truly unscrupulous people and need to be accountable for their actions.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 17 12:16 PM
My only question is: would you like to see every person subject to deportation deported?

Personally, I subscribe to the idea that there is a point of diminishing returns for spending on immigration enforcement, particularly when the targets are humble, patriotic, and productive folks, but I understand where the "enforcement first/only" folks are coming from, even if I disagree with their cost-benefit analysis.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 25, 17 6:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
Exactly!
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 25, 17 1:27 PM
Fore you could not be more incorrect when you wrote - "...but merely overstaying a visa, which is how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be undocumented, is actually a civil violation, not a crime."

First, "merely" severely understates the severity of the illegal action. Overstaying a visa subjects the offender to not only civil penalties, but deportation and barred to returning - aka -gaining ANY legal status for years.

Second, MOST do in fact "sneak into the country" ...more
By Po Boy (5083), Water Mill on Sep 28, 17 9:35 AM
Friend, your knowledge on the topic is indeed "Po"

A quick google search will confirm that about two thirds of undocumented folks are overstays. Even the conservative Washington times agrees.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 9:58 AM
Again, you specifically reference illegals as using visas as being the primary mechanism... not so. Overstays is a problem, for sure. My knowledge is based on... um.... my profession. I'd suggest that neither you nor those not in the know have no idea how many enter through other means... for, there is no record of the entry... they snuck in. It is only through deportation interviews that you get a sense of the magnitude of the problem of those "sneaking in" and it far surpasses visa overstays.
Sep 28, 17 10:11 AM appended by Po Boy
By most "official" accounts you' see in the news, 40% of illegals are overstays. What do you think makes up the other 60%?
By Po Boy (5083), Water Mill on Sep 28, 17 10:11 AM
Again, your knowledge is lacking.

Since you have chosen to avoid doing your own research in favor of whatever knowledge your profession imparts (you never did say what that profession was...) I invite anyone reading to google for themselves.

You can search for the Washington Times headline (a conservative publication) which reads: "Staggering number of visa overstays now biggest problem in illegal immigration"
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 10:32 AM
"Biggest problem" is much different than the manner which you define it, "how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be undocumented".

I work with a government agency with three letters as it's acronym and its mission is rather in the know on the subject. Visa overstays is the "biggest problem" because there has been little effort to document and track outbound travel. Inbound is well documented and tracked. 'Biggest problem" means, we have no idea who leaves and who doesn't (think ...more
By Po Boy (5083), Water Mill on Sep 28, 17 10:51 AM
That's hilarious, did you even read the article? Ok, we can keep going.

How about the NBC article whose headline reads: "Visa Overstays Outnumber Illegal Border Crossings, Trend Expected to Continue"?

Or, if you think NBC is biased news, Fox News said: "In 2016, according to a new report from Homeland Security, only an estimated 106,000 people managed to cross our southern border and enter the country undetected; more than 600,000 overstayed their visas."

If you admit ...more
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 11:15 AM
No arguing the facts.... but that's not what you originally wrote: "which is how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be undocumented."

You are referencing recent trends, and as I acknowledge both in numbers AND degree of problem, overstays ARE a problem. But here is a better indication of "how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be undocumented":

"Forty percent of people in this country, illegally, are overstaying visas."
— Marco Rubio on Wednesday, July ...more
Sep 28, 17 12:38 PM appended by Po Boy
Now if you want to admit your original statement "which is how the majority of illegal immigrants came to be undocumented."wasn't entirely accurate, but simply referenced current trends, we can end it here.
By Po Boy (5083), Water Mill on Sep 28, 17 12:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ok: visa overstays are how the vast majority of illegal immigrants come to be undocumente today, outnumbering illegal border crossings 600k to 100k in 2016, and made up about 42% of all undocumented people in the U.S. in 2014.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 12:57 PM
I commend you!

But you do you realize we don't really know for certain and it's a really REALLY fuzzy number, right? Afterall, we really don't know how many entered illegally (because we didn't catch them) or even how many entered legally and overstayed (since there is currently no mechanism to track outbound exits against entry records (but a little bird tells me that is being resolved through tesing of biometric and facial recognition technology ;)).
By Po Boy (5083), Water Mill on Sep 28, 17 1:29 PM
How are we "lauding them [illegal immigrants] as something special" by arresting people who are both abusing them and breaking the laws of our country. I'm stunned by the lack of outrage expressed here against these business owners who are so greedy and disgusting.
By nancyloo (13), Southampton on Sep 25, 17 4:08 AM
There are 2 sides to every story. It sounds like these people are pehaps being coached by this "rights group". Can we go into their county illegally and run to a "rights advocate"? No, they would put us right in Jail! Also the restaurant business is different then any other business. Its our PC world thats screwed up. The Press loves a villain, the summers over, they need someting to write about!
By LovinLife (61), East Quogue on Sep 25, 17 4:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
I don't understand what you propose...that restauranteurs should be exempt from wages & tax laws because "the restaurant business then any other business"?

That we should live up to the examples set by other countries by denying people access to justice based on their immigration status?

What would you do differently?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 25, 17 11:37 AM
OMG...Your way of thinking is so cruel. Are you kidding me! The first half of your commentary makes no sense. The second is whoa someone has a crater in their chest where their heart was suppose to be.
By lursagirl (241), southampton on Sep 25, 17 1:25 PM
How is a restaurant a different kind of business?
By even flow (988), East Hampton on Sep 27, 17 6:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
The pro-illegal immigration activists, who are mostly paid to do their job, set the framework for the violation of labor laws and tax and insurance fraud then stand in righteous indignation when it happens. Then someone like Minerva Perez, the Executive Director of OLA, is given a seat at the table to select the new police chief of Southampton Town. You really can't make this stuff up. This is an election year in Southampton Town. Pay very careful attention to your local government.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 25, 17 7:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
Disgusting. I hope the judge throws the book at the Owner and Manager. Terrible food, terrible diner and they sound like terrible people. No surprise there.
By johnj (1019), Westhampton on Sep 25, 17 9:01 AM
I think there is SO much more to this. I have seen these legal or illegal in this diner, run the diner and handle cash themselves!! I have paid my check to them myself. Must be trust and good will for that to take place. I'm sure all customers have seen the same as it happened day after day for years
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 26, 17 3:07 PM
Quite easy to determine who owns a Resturant at what time folks! It's public record. Check , I did
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 26, 17 5:01 PM
What further proof do you need that our immigration laws need to be strictly enforced and a border wall built to protect poor immigrants. If they never come here illegally they'll never have to worry about being abused by dirt bag employers who want exploit their illegal presence.

Build the wall...do it for the illegal immigrants. It is worth it if it saves one illegal immigrant life.
By Preliator Lives (431), Obamavillie on Sep 27, 17 6:45 AM
This is what you get when you hire illegals. Americans aren't too lazy to work, they just don't want to be treated like animals. Times have changed-teens don't work fast food jobs, and illegals get preferential treatment thanks to scummy business owners who put profit over everything.
By Moral Dolphin (50), Southampton on Sep 27, 17 7:29 AM
Questions, who hired them? Says they worked for years in s cash only business, wonder if they contributed to taxes? New owner as of spring ACCEPTED credit cards, maybe also wanted to pay taxes!
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 27, 17 10:06 AM
making sure i can get enough facts in these comment boxes you will be seeing several posts from me today sept 27 , 2017 my name is kevin ackley i am 54 local from easthampton ny i know the fact's about the diner more then most of you who jsut commented on all the lies that the ny state attorney general's office brought in the null in void no validity do outright lies suit against my close friend richard bivona as i explained to cailin riley yesterday on our call richard bivona the current ...more
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 27, 17 10:27 AM
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
------------------------------------------------------------x
In re:
1990’s CATERERS LTD. Case No.: 13-74884-AST
d/b/a VINA de VILLA CATERERS, Chapter 7
Debtor.
-------------------------------------------------------------x
DECISION AND ORDER TO DIRECT THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS TO TAKE
RICHARD BIVONA INTO CUSTODY AND HOLD HIM IN THEIR CUSTODY
UNTIL SUCH TIME AS HE PURGES HIS CIVIL CONTEMPT
For ...more
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 27, 17 11:47 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:10 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:37 AM
the suit claims mr bivona the current owner as of april 24 ,2017 owned the diner during the time period aug 2016 to dec 2016 lies he was note holder he took the banks position and he was absentee note holder i know for fact cause he would ask me to stop by check up on diner along with few other very close friend's he trust's the state's whole case is a lie made up of slanderous false claims the owner of the diner up until april 24 , 2017 was BA-KAL and they had owned it over 2 decades ...more
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 27, 17 10:31 AM
Firm Closes; Complaints Filed

David Shargel | June 22, 2000
A walk past East Hampton Village Realty on Main Street shows nothing out of the ordinary. On the outside, the business appears to be a typical real estate firm with photographs and descriptions of summer rentals on a large front window.

But a peek beyond the glass reveals empty desks. No brokers, no files, and no computers - only telephones which, when called, ring incessantly.

That was not always the case, ...more
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 27, 17 11:41 AM
Oh boy, this character witness is doing his "close friend" no favors.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 27, 17 12:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
i was never questioned i was never charged of any crime it was settled all parties were satisfied back to false claims against mr bivona who has really been dragged thru the sewer it seems now its all coming together local hispanic is politically motivated and using this story to push her agenda makes sense now as i know for fact all accusations against the said defendant richard bivona are not true unfounded and so does reporter who i spoke to on the phone other day cailin riley
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:13 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:18 AM
Note holder=owner
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 28, 17 10:15 AM
I say give the owners their day in court before throwing the towel in on all these allegations. It's up to a judge and jury. On the subject of St. Rosalie's I say, "Wake up and smell the Taco!" BTW... they're not the only Catholic church on the east end.
By pigroast (100), East Quogue on Sep 27, 17 5:29 PM
St. Rosalie has allowed activists to use its facilities for decades and allowed them to criticize and condemn the hard working middle class of Hampton Bays. It is so hypocritical. Sr. Mary Beth Moore lives in a waterfront estate in Sag Harbor while those she alleges she serves lives in squalor in the illegal motels. The Sisters of St Joseph own the waterfront estate on Lynn Avenue which they use for "retreats". The Diocese has millions of dollars of real estate, yet people are living in squalor ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 27, 17 10:46 PM
Sounds like they have unethical friends too.
By even flow (988), East Hampton on Sep 28, 17 6:08 AM
once again its public record the defendant who is very close friend of mine did not take legal ownership of the diner until april 24 , 2017 and all the state agencies knew this along with atty general and thus mujer local advocate for illegals know the facts before you make ignorant comments
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:25 AM
So what'd he do from April 24 till September 19, comply with the law in good faith? If so, he should look forward to being exonerated in a court of law. If not, then he's just as culpable.

In either case, you are doing your "close friend" no favors by continuing to discuss your personal knowledge of his ongoing case on a public forum.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 9:36 AM
once again keep this very simple for you the suit claims from aug 2016 to dec 2016 but my friend didnt legally own the diner until april 24 , 2017 from that date on he is the legal owner before that he was a absentee note holder do you know what that means ???
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:43 AM
It sounds to me like you think being a note-holder is different from being an owner, and being absentee is an absolute defense to liability.

I think the prosecutors on the case are better-informed than you.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 10:29 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:28 AM
I agree, let the lawyers and system handle the rest! I would say ad a customer that when it switched from cash only to credit cards welcome all is up front as far as business wise!
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 28, 17 9:48 AM
if richie is guilty of one thing and he is guilty of this all the time he is too giving he tries to help people he shouldn't but one thing he wont do is hire illegals or let illegals who have been there in the past stay on only documented workers fyi i brought him his 2 current cooks who can stand up to any chefs out here as everyone i have brought to the diner raves about the food and thats a fact
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 9:57 AM
I was and remain a fan of the diner under both old and new owner. I will not comment further as I stated, it will sort its way out. For those who are local we KNOW the truth. Slandering without knowledge is ignorance, last tidbit, diner wasn't sold to new owner, he dealt directly with the bank to purchase. The rest is on the wall for the public to see!!
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 28, 17 10:07 AM
i can see there are few uninformed people on this matter so the current owner richard bivona has asked me to tell you if any of you would like to stop by the diner meet with him have coffee breakfast on him he will be happy to sit down with you and explain face to face and show you proof of what he has said and i have told you be his guest and the food is excellent best out here in the hamptons
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 12:03 PM
That's a very gracious offer, but a quick chat about this plan with his attorney would probably result in advice to the contrary.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 28, 17 12:21 PM
the offer comes straight from richie he is there from open to close once he took legal ownership in april 2017 not the dates the atty gen suit claims he owned the diner which makes all those claims accusations false not true stop by diner he will be happy to set you straight with the facts in front of him no lawyers
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 12:37 PM
i am speaking for richies behalf my words on his behalf not from him and facts i know being i was from start to finish i had originally brought prospective buyer to richie as he sole intention was to flip the diner once he legally took it over in april 2017 simple as that they buyer backed off and richie decided to go into business himself
By kevin aaa (11), hamptons on Sep 28, 17 12:51 PM
Please we are in the US. Innocent until proven guilty, please...
By knitter (1898), Southampton on Sep 28, 17 4:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Unfortunately, it does not always work that way in Southampton Village.
By deepchanel (88), Southampton on Sep 29, 17 9:13 AM
The court of public opinion is as old as time, and its ubiquity is not limited to Southampton Village.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8044), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 29, 17 2:56 PM
Is Richard Bivona still living in George Guldi's house at 2027 Deerfield Rd in Watermill? The one I won back for Guldi while he was in prison after the house was illegally foreclosed upon by a corrupt Suffolk judge and was illegally sold at auction?
By oneseriousSicilian (63), medford on Sep 29, 17 5:37 AM
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_05048.htm
By oneseriousSicilian (63), medford on Sep 29, 17 5:38 AM
Yes he does, the cable bill is still in George's name... lol

nice place btw.
By Mega Lord (1), Southampton on Oct 6, 17 4:04 PM
So far there is one very close friend of a co-defendant who thinks his very close friend is innocent. The close friend has been caught to stealing money also. And it appears this co-defendant is willing to meet people in person to throw the other co-defendant under the bus in advance of the trial. I can see why he's such a good friend
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 29, 17 6:17 AM
noticed the "princess" part of the diner sign gone this morning
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 29, 17 12:41 PM
Mr Carman, as quoted is able to speak on behalf of his client. I agree if someone knows intimate details they would be asked to stop rendering opinions. Freedom of speech! It WILL take its course. It's all public knowledge who owned what when. Is it known that this advocate group has their facts straight ? Neither owner was EVER contacted or questioned prior to an arrest. Let's see
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 30, 17 10:07 AM
Not happy when I know the owner, new, whom has given in the past a small fortune to feed the unfortunate . All races and religions. Not consistent. Sort of corrupt. Like what we live in with those whom we elect!
By Bohay (18), Watermill on Sep 30, 17 10:16 AM
Kevin aaa are these cooks legal? Or are you bringing in more undocumented ppl?
By Moral Dolphin (50), Southampton on Oct 4, 17 7:02 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island