Louisville's Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) is suing Taco Punk for $33,000. In a collections complaint, METCO is claiming that "Made By Hand LLC dba Taco Punk; Gabriel J. Sowder" failed "to pay on a promissory note." The suit, case 13-CI-000939, was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Feb. 22—the same day Taco Punk's Kickstarter campaign failed.
According to the complaint, Made by Hand LLC, doing business as Taco Punk took out a loan for $40,000 from METCO on Aug. 5, 2011. As of Feb. 1, 2013, the unpaid balance was "$33,089.43 plus interest at the rate of 5% per annum from March 1, 2013 until paid." The complaint seeks reimbursement of those funds plus attorneys fees and costs.
UPDATE 11:51 a.m. In October 2012, Sowder told the Louisville Courier-Journal, "he's consistently late on bills." Sowder also said, "I am very concerned rolling into February and March. Those are pretty lean times."
UPDATE 10:33 a.m. Download a .pdf of the complaint here or view each page in the gallery at the end of this article.
UPDATE 11:18 a.m. According to the Office of Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk, Taco Punk and Sowder's "response is due 20 days from date of service. In this case, summons was issued Feb. 22nd, method of service via certified mail. Assume they receive the certified mail on Feb 26th, you would expect their response by Mar. 17th , but the clock doesn't start ticking until they are served."
"The Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) governs metro government's small business loans, which include facade, retail forgivable and gap financing loans," according to its website. In an op-ed for WFPL published last month, Sowder said that it was Louisville's Economic Development Board, that "urged [him] to create a Kickstarter project to finance developing the side lot into an alfresco dining area and launch a catering program." Last Friday—again, the same day that METCO filed its complaint against Taco Punk—that Kickstarter campaign failed to reach its goal of $20,000. (The city's Department of Economic Growth and Innovation makes and approves loans in conjunction with METCO.)
A voice mail message was left at Taco Punk at 9:44 a.m. for Sowder. This article will be updated should he respond (the NuLu quick service, gourmet taco shop doesn't open until 11 a.m.).
While nothing indicates Taco Punk would not have appropriated its Kickstarter funds as promised, Kickstarter does not appear to have a mechanism to guarantee the money raised wouldn't have been used to pay off the loan or fight or settle the complaint either. Moot point, of course, as Taco Punk failed to reach its campaign's goal and received none of the money pledged.
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[Photo: Courtesy Facebook/Taco Punk]