Federal documents might help explain the real story behind the recent high-profile war in Miami's culinary community.
In the past two years, the Internal Revenue Service has placed $63,000 in tax liens on Oishi Thai, the North Miami restaurant co-owned by Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, also known as Chef Bee.
Though he has apparently paid off all the liens, the lack of payment, which dates back to 2008, apparently shows the depth of Bee's financial problems -- which motivated him to take a job as executive chef at Khong River House in South Beach. Bee suddenly left that job this summer and was sued by 50 Eggs LLC, which owns Khong. 50 Eggs alleges Bee violated his contract with the company.
The Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations lists eight federal tax liens on Oishi Thai LLC. Chatmonmart Kamolwan, a member of the LLC, was also listed on the liens as a taxpayer. According to Chef Bee, Kamolwan is his sister-in-law. Kamolwan also owns a restaurant in Hollywood, Florida.
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The tax liens have been issued for tax periods over a five-year span, with one lien in the amount of $26,194.92 filed in Miami-Dade County as recently as August 2013. Bee provided electronic documentation that he had, in fact, paid that bill.
Asked why there were liens against Oishi Thai in the first place, Bee told Short Order: "My accountant made a mistake. We switched accountants because the previous one didn't inform us that we had to pay certain taxes."
Bee said that although there are two liens still listed as "active," he and his partners had made good with the IRS, but the agency has yet to clear their account in the system. "When the IRS said that we didn't pay taxes and put a lien on our accounts, we went to their office and proved that we already paid, but I don't know why they haven't cleared our name."