KCBD INVESTIGATES: Lubbock businessman Kevin Foote's history acr - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

KCBD INVESTIGATES: Lubbock businessman Kevin Foote's history across the Southwest

Source: KCBD Source: KCBD
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The KCBD Investigative Team has uncovered new information about the history of a Lubbock businessman.

Kevin Foote and his business, Fired Up Holding Company, Inc. are embroiled in a controversy after the sudden closure of five restaurants in just two weeks.

Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims confirmed that he dealt with Foote in 2009 when he suddenly closed a restaurant in Amarillo without paying employees, remarkably similar to the allegations Foote is facing now. 

While KCBD is not aware of any pending criminal charges, we are told a civil lawsuit is in the works. 

"I think this is one of the most evil corporate schemes I have ever seen," said attorney Jeff Blackburn. 

Blackburn now represents more than 100 people who say they were left suddenly unemployed and without a paycheck for work they did. 

"We got a text saying we are going to be closed for tomorrow and then we will re-open on Tuesday. Nope, that didn't happen," said Darci Ronan.

Ronan said she joined the Ruby Tequila's team more than five years ago and needed this job to support her family. Ronan said her daughter also worked at Ruby Tequila's, which means they lost two incomes overnight.

"We had to get on food stamps," Ronan said.

Now Blackburn is working to find out who is responsible for allegedly leaving the Ronans and possibly hundreds of others empty-handed.

"There is a lot of finger pointing right now. Well, I don't really care who they want to point the finger at, somebody better start getting their checkbook ready because these people are owed money and they need to be paid for the work they did," Blackburn said.

He said he has learned more about Foote's past through Blackburn's investigation.

"Foote is from El Paso originally, although he has spent plenty of time in other states under different aliases that he has used. He skips from state to state in the southwest doing this to other people," Blackburn said.

"He had a company out of Colorado that was renting a restaurant space, a Bennigan's on Interstate-40 and one day they are open and the next day they are closed," Sims said. 

Sims said Foote owed more than $230,000.

Together, they worked out an agreement to have Foote pay everyone back. 

"We shipped all of the stuff on what he had done down here to the authorities in Colorado," Sims said.

Sims said he had learned the authorities in Erie, Colorado were looking into Foote as well.

According to media reports from 2010, a judge in New Mexico ruled that Foote and his Erie-based Colorado restaurant group owed nearly $300,000 to a New Mexico non-profit that owned a building where the Colorado entity wanted to open a sports bar.

Meanwhile, Blackburn said he is hopeful the former employees he is working with will be paid what they are reportedly owed, if not more.

"People have a right in this country to be paid for what they do, and we expect we are going to be able to do that," Blackburn said.

We have e-mailed back and forth with Foote in the past 36 hours.

As of this report, Foote has not responded to our questions about the allegations.

He has also declined our request for an on-camera interview.

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