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'Simpsons' Co-Creator:

Pinkberry Co-Founder SCREWED

My Charity

9/15/2011 8:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0915_sam_simon_getty_EX
TV icon Sam Simon -- who co-created "The Simpsons" -- claims a key person behind Pinkberry is a LIAR ... who bilked his charity to make a quick buck ... this according to a new lawsuit. 

Simon claims he was looking to buy property in L.A. to operate a non-profit food bank to benefit needy families earlier this year -- when his realtor found a former Pinkberry location.

In the lawsuit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Simon says the place seemed like a good fit -- because of the walk-in freezer, food prep area and other things -- so he bought the place for $1.2 mil back in February.

Simon claims Pinkberry's co-founder SWORE the place was permitted for food product operations -- but after he took possession of the property, Simon claims he learned it was all a lie.

In the docs, Simon says the prior owners NEVER obtained permits for the plumbing, mechanical, electrical and certain food handling appliances -- but worst of all ... Sam says the place was only licensed to be an "Auto repair garage" ... and was never approved for food service.

Sam is now suing his realtor, along with Pinkberry co-founder Shelly Hwang and the company through which Pinkberry does business ... claiming they should pay for all of his costs to bring the place up to snuff ... plus damages.

UPDATE: A rep for Pinkberry tells TMZ, "Pinkberry has nothing to do with the entity that sold the building to Simon. Pinkberry is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, and was not an owner or a tenant in the building when it was sold."

The rep adds, "Pinkberry was not involved in any of the negotiations for the sale of the building.   What is even more concerning is the focus on an 'anti-charity' angle, when the truth is that Pinkberry and its people are strong supporters of charities, including the very sort of food bank charity that Mr. Simon generously supports."

43 COMMENTS

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16.

Flower    

Sorry. He had a realtor who was supposed to do all the checking. That's what Simon was paying him for. You want to sue someone(of course you do)? Sue your realtor for doing a lousy job.

1042 days ago
17.

Beet    

Sam Simon is awesome. Check out the great foundation he operates for dogs, out of his own pocket.

1042 days ago
18.

Gerbet    

Any sophisticated businessman should know better than to close on a property before conducting due diligence. Even if Pinkberry warranted in the contract that the proper permits were in place, those warranties usually merge into the deed and become meaningless unless the contract states that the warranties survive closing. If anything, this guy should be suing his attorney.

1042 days ago
19.

Craig    

So the question is whether Pinkberry's claims amount to fraud in the legal sense. Otherwise, Caveat emptor. Case dismissed.

1042 days ago
20.

Rogue Warrior    

He obviously failed to do his own due diligence and now he's trying to deflect responsibility, like the Jackson family does, onto someone else.

1042 days ago
21.

Damon    

It's not like he was buying an 85 million dollar mansion that he didn't need!

He was trying to do something good!

We complain about all these spoiled insufferable celebities getting probation for things that would land us common folk in jail!

They had to have known why he was buying the place-(hint, hint... the reason they were selling it)-yet they sold it to him anyway!

1042 days ago
22.

aquanet    

THEY legally were responsible to disclouse that information, they didn't so he wins!

1042 days ago
23.

noneofyourbusiness    

Isn't Pinkberry supposed to be a legit business? Makes one wonder how they themselves got away with serving food there in the first place if in fact they are NOT zoned to do so.

1042 days ago
24.

AnonyMouse    

I would be surprised if he were to win the lawsuit. Isn't the burden on the buyer to make sure licenses are in place? Isn't there caveat emptor?

1042 days ago
25.

alli    

Always read the fine print....

1042 days ago
26.

Dan    

Pinkberry screws everyone. Just look at what they charge for a small cup of sour frozen yogurt. They guy should taken more precautions.

1042 days ago
27.

mike    

the people behind pinkberry are korean and everyone know that koreans are the asian jews......... screw you in a second to make a quick buck. Mr. Simons fault for dealing with trash in the first place.

1042 days ago
28.

Dave    

Perhaps you should be more upset with your lawyers and whoever reviews your financial dealings Sam. I have some Ocean front property in AZ. I would love for you to buy!!! I promise it has a great view! All the money and effort you are spending now could have been avoided if you had smarter people looking after your interests. Don't blame a realtor for showing a property!

1042 days ago
29.

Amber    

Do they not do inspections on businesses just as they would a home?? I mean come on, if I was paying that much $ for anything, I do not think someone's "word" would be enough to suit me!!!!!!

1042 days ago
30.

MeatEater    

First, if I drop 1 mil on a piece of property, I wouldnt be Sofa King dumb as to not make sure this was zoned for what my intended purpose.
Second, what happened to personal responsibilty?

1042 days ago
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