Lawsuit Accuses Tulsa City Councilor Of Fraud

Thursday, October 13th 2016, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa city councilor is being sued by prior business partners who accuse him of using their money to fund businesses that only he would benefit from.

Blake Ewing is Tulsa's District 4 councilor; he is also known for owning The Phoenix Café, the Blue Ox, Boomtown Tees and The Fur Shop.

But it's financial dealings with the Max Retropub where some of his business partners say he defrauded them.

10/13/2016 Related Story: Tulsa City Councilor Still Owes State Thousands

Following reports The Frontier that Ewing failed to pay $168,000 in sales taxes since 2010, two of his business partners at The Max - Mark Perkins and Albert Carrillo - requested financial documents to see how the business was being run.

7/28/2016 Related Story: Tulsa City Councilor's Businesses Are Tens Of Thousands Behind On Taxes

The suit filed by Perkins and Carrillo alleges Ewing mislead them and hid financial happenings.

Court documents say, in 2010, Ewing entered into an agreement with the two men to use their capital investments to open The Max. According to court papers, he was supposed to keep The Max dealings separate from his other businesses.

But, the suit claims Ewing used their investments, and The Max’s bank account, to pay for operational costs of his other businesses - even pay Servpro, a fire damage restoration company, after Ewing's Joe Momma's restaurant was damaged by fire.

Court documents state almost $320,000 was transferred from The Max account to one of Ewing’s other businesses, The Engine Room, "for no justified purpose."

Documents also state more than $40,000 in The Max accounts were used for Ewing's personal benefit - buying things like gas, food, basketball tickets, airfare, vet bills, even musical gear.

The lawsuit claims Ewing hid the transfers and expenses from his business partners and provided them false financial statements to mislead them.

Both Carrillo and Perkins are seeking monetary damages.

The court documents state more specific information will come out during the discovery portion of the lawsuit.

We reached out to Ewing for comment but have yet to hear back.

Our partners at The Frontier have more on this story at the following links:

The Frontier: In midst of financial struggles, Blake Ewing remains a popular, effective and controversial city councilor

The Frontier: Councilor’s businesses named in 19 tax warrants since 2010