By SHERRI KOLADE
HEIGHTS — A local business is at the center of a civil lawsuit involving a former Detroit Lion.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote alleges that two Dearborn Heights businessmen — Hussein Bazzi, co-owner of A-Star Valet Inc., and co-owner and accountant Ali Msthar — scammed him out of $400,000 in February 2010; Foote filed a lawsuit July 12 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Foote alleges that Bazzi said the owners of A-Star Valet Inc., 6986 Telegraph Road, told him they had legitimate valet contracts with Fountain Walk, Twelve Oaks Mall, Somerset Mall and other malls and needed an investor, according to Foote’s complaint. Foote said he later found out the company did not have contracts with the malls.
In the complaint, Foote said he agreed to invest in A-Star Valet Inc. based on the company’s business agreement between the malls and after allegedly he was shown copies of business contracts with the malls.
According to Foote’s complaint, he invested $360,000 with Bazzi and Msthar in four installments over eight months. The money varied in amount and was usually wired to Msthar.
Foote also alleges that Msthar prepared and provided a U.S. return of partnership income for 2011, according to his complaint. Foote said that A-Star Valet Inc. showed him the valet company’s income of more than $1.5 million, the tax return was allegedly false and the income was overstated.
The complaint states that Foote was initially paid back $80,000, but that money came from funds he originally invested.
Foote’s Livonia-based attorney, James Acho also is representing VIP Parking Management, LLC, in the same suit, a company alleging that Bazzi and Msthar did not “make proper, full, and timely payments to VIP Parking Management.”
The complaint states that because A-Star Valet Inc. did not hold up its end of the deal VIP Parking Management defaulted on a bank loan.
Acho said Bazzi and Msthar can file an answer in their defense.
The next step is to go before a judge, he said.
Foote is asking the courts to award him $1.4 million from Bazzi and Msthar for costs, interest and attorney fees.