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Boston Blackie's Owners Accused of Bank Fraud

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 12, 2010 10:30PM

bblogo.2008.jpg Two owners and a manager of the Boston Blackie's restaurant chain were arrested yesterday, accused of a check-kiting scheme that defrauded Charter One and Washington Mutual Banks of close to $2 million. Blackie's patriarch Nick Giannis; his son Chris; and Andy Bakopoulos, a Blackie's manager, are accused of implementing the bank fraud in an effort to keep from Boston Blackie's from filing bankruptcy. Blackie's eventually did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December.

Nick Giannis was arrested at the Canadian border with a Greek passport, according to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. While Nick Giannis is awaiting extradition in Detroit, Chris Giannis is being held on $500,000 bond; Bakopoulos's bail is $250,000. He already sounds as though he may testify against the Giannises. The Sun-Times writes that Bakopoulos knew what he did was wrong but “needed the job and he had to do what Chris told him."

The arrests also create another headache for State Treasurer and Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias. The Giannises were customers of the Giannoulias family bank, Broadway Bank, which is thisclose to being taken over by the FDIC. Additionally, Giannoulias received $120,000 in campaign donations from Nick Giannis for his various campaigns; Alvarez also received $5,000 from Nick Giannis. Both Giannoulias and Alvarez will be donating those contributions to charity.