Lawsuit alleges multi-million dollar wine dinner fraud

Some of New York’s richest wine lovers have alleged that businessman Omar Khan conned them into investing in luxury dinner parties with rare wines, but Khan denies wrongdoing.

Thirteen plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against New York-based businessman Omar Khan, mostly alleging that he duped them into investing in his plans to make money by holding luxury dinners with some of the world’s rarest wines.

Complainants in the case have asked for at least $8.3m plus interest in damages, the court filing shows.

Despite Khan reporting that the investments were successful and profitable, it has since been discovered that ‘most of the “ventures” were in fact not real’, the complainants said in court documents filed with the Supreme Court of New York on 3 September.

Omar Khan could not be immediately reach for comment, but has reportedly denied any wrongdoing.

Speaking to the New York Post, Khan was quoted as blaming ‘cashflow issues’ for some dinners not taking place.

The lawsuit also names Khan’s company, International Business and Wine Society LLC, and his wife, Leslie Khan, as defendants. Khan’s strategic consultancy, Sensei International, was also named as a defendant in the case. ‘Khan is an alter ego of Sensei,’ said the filing.

Khan held networking events and dinners for wealthy people, at which he would pick individuals to charm, according to the court filing. He would then persuade them to invest in his luxury wine dinner business idea.

Retired mathematician Kresimir Penavic was owed around $6.9m by Khan, said the lawsuit filing.

In one example, it said that Penavic invested $75,000 in a planned wine dinner in London, but ‘this event never even took place’ and no funds were repaid.

Where events did take place, the filing reported that plaintiffs have faced difficulties extracting their profit share.