A member of the Prince George's County Council has been sued for $3.6 million in a dispute over the sale of a Hyattsville trophy shop that he swore was free of debt despite an outstanding $75,000 loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Barbara Bakhtiar and Shawn Patrick Mendel alleged in court papers filed yesterday that County Councilman Anthony Cicoria committed fraud, breach of contract and displayed "malicious and wanton behavior" during and after the transaction.
In the court papers, the two also alleged that Cicoria threatened to "grab defendant Mendel by the throat, drag him into the street and beat him into the pavement." In the papers, Mendel alleges that he has suffered from "mental anguish, nausea, fright, emotional distress, loss of weight, sleeplessness and skin reactions" since the incident.
Cicoria denied the allegations yesterday, saying, " he intended to pay off the SBA loan with the sale proceeds and did not seek to defraud anyone.
The allegations were made in a counterclaim filed after Cicoria refused to release the buyers from the sale and sued them for $60,000 he said they still owed him for the shop, called Tony's Super Bowl.
The prospective buyers also seek return of a $10,000 down payment and cancellation of both the sale and a $45,000 promissory note held by Cicoria stemming from the transaction.