Ahmed Zayat, Owner of Triple Crown Challenger American Pharoah, Is Sued for Gaming Debts
Ahmed Zayat, the owner of Triple Crown hopeful American Pharaoh, is currently involved in a $1.65 million Florida lawsuit said to stem from gambling debts. A suit filed by Howard Rubinsky, a Florida man, says that Mr. Zayat owes him $1.65 million from debts incurred back in 2005.
The lawsuit alleges that Zayat lost at least $2 million to Rubinsky while gambling in 2005. Zayat “vehemently denies” the suit’s claims, and has asksed a federal judge to dismiss the case entirely.
Howard Rubinsky’s Lawsuit
Howard Rubinsky filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit in March 2014. Te suit claims that, in 2003, Rubinsky entered into a personal services contract with Mr. Zayat. Rubinsky advanced credit to Zayat in 2003 at a couple of casinos on the understanding that the money would be paid back.
This arrangement continued until the end of 2005, when Zayat owed Rubinsky $2 million. The owner of American Pharaoh paid back some of the money, but still owes $1.65 million in gambling debts.
Zayat Terms the Allegations “Lies”
Mr. Zayat spoke with the Associated Press via phone. In the interview, he termed the lawsuit “lies”. Zayat said, “It’s a fraud. It’s a scam from A to Z. It’s total fiction. It’s a total lie.”
He went on to describe the suit as a case of blackmail. Then he pointed to Rubinsky’s sordid past, which has included convictions of money laundering and gambling offenses.
Calling for Case to be Thrown Out
Zayat’s lawyers have called for the lawsuit to be thrown out, citing two factors. One, the suit was filed beyond the 6-year statute of limitations. Two, Rubinsky cannot produce a contract which would establish his claims.
If no such proof can be produced by the Rubinsky legal team, then Zayat should win the case, though the legal fees could be significant. Both men have plenty of money to spend on such disputes, it would seem. The Egyptian racehorse owner is likely to face significant embarrassment, though, at a time when he, his stable, and his family should be riding the crest of fame and popularity.
Bainton Offended by Zayat’s Counter-Charges
J. Joseph Bainton, the lawyer for Howard Rubinsky, said he took personal offense at the allegations made by Ahmed Zayat. When asked about the case itself, Bainton said that “the action has merit for the reasons stated in the papers filed with the court.”
Bainton said he found the charges by American Pharaoh’s owner to be outrageous, then added in a Thursday press release, “While I respect Mr. Zayat’s right to dispute the allegations of the complaint. I am deeply offended by his defamatory charge that I am a party to ‘a scam and blackmail.’”
About Ahmed Zayat
Ahmed Zayat is a 52-year old Egyptian-American businessman. He came to the United States when he was 16 and has lived here ever since. Zayat maintains a residence in New Jersey.
Zayat made his fortune owning a beer distributorship in Egypt. In 2005, he got into the horse racing industry. That year, he founded Zayat Stables. The stables breed thoroughbred horses for racing in the United States.
American Pharaoh’s Quest
Most of the past ten year’s Zayat Stables has been a relatively obscure racing company. This year, the Egyptian-born businessman’s stables produce a Triple Crown challenger: American Pharaoh.
American Pharaoh won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in April, then backed that up by winning the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland just last week. If American Pharaoh can win the Belmont Stakes at Balmont Park in New York state, he will become the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.
Las Vegas sportsbooks are a week away from setting odds on the Belmont Stakes, but online bookmakers have made American Pharaoh a 4-to-5 favorite to win the race, thus becoming the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown. If that were to happen, Zayat’s racehorse would be worth tens of millions of dollars in studding fees.
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