Maloof Vs. Morton

The nasty legal battle between Palms Casino & Resort owner George Maloof Jr., and the hotel’s restaurant and nightclub operator, Michael Morton of N9NE, continues to heat up in Las Vegas court.

The lawsuit filed by Maloof in Clark County District Court levels a list of scathing accusations against Morton of N9NE Group regarding his management of joint venture company N-M Ventures, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The convoluted dispute reportedly has to do with Morton’s development of the La Cave wine bar restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas.

Maloof reportedly was against the project. Now the Palms owner accuses Morton of diverting funds and using company staff to bring the Wynn project alive as well as indulging in personal luxuries on N-M’s dime.

Morton denies the allegations and his attorneys claim that Maloof and some disgruntled N9NE investors are just trying to force Morton out and take over the Wynn project, the paper said.

Morton’s attorneys said Maloof’s allegations are fabricated.

“The [counter] complaint filed by [Palms owner] Fiesta Palms and verified by George Maloof, reads like a petty and grudging cheap shot at Michael Morton and his family rather than a contract dispute among sophisticated parties,” the attorneys said in a late October filing, the Sun reported.

Morton and his reps also claim they are being blocked from obtaining the results of an investigation of Morton conducted by attorney Donald Campbell at Maloof’s request in June 2009 as well as the results of a related PricewaterhouseCoopers audit.

In an affidavit Campbell reportedly alleged there is probable cause to conclude that Morton was engaged in “serial acts of misconduct including both theft and embezzlement,” fraud and income tax invasion, among other charges.

However, Campbell reportedly claims he doesn’t have to give Morton and his attorneys his findings because it’s “protected work product” done prior to possible litigation, the paper said.