BK auction postponed again

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An auction of equipment at a local Burger King that would have raised money to pay off taxes owed to Suffolk has once again been postponed.

City Treasurer Ron Williams said he postponed the auction at the request of the property owner’s attorney “in order to give all parties an opportunity to negotiate for a possible agreement with Burger King Corporate to open that store as a corporate store,” Williams said Tuesday.

The auction was to be at the Bridge Road Burger King, one of two restaurants in North Suffolk formerly owned by Azhar Holding Co. The two Burger Kings in Suffolk, along with others in Windsor, Franklin, Smithfield and Chesapeake, shut down in October after the owners, Samina and Sarmed Azhar, failed to pay several months’ worth of meals taxes to all five localities.

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Williams said the sale of the equipment, either through auction or to the new owner, will be more than enough for the city to recoup its losses — about $20,000 in meals taxes. In September, Williams seized contents of the cash registers and safes at the two Suffolk locations.

In April, the bank that owns the shuttered Burger King on Armory Drive in Franklin paid that city more than $7,000 in delinquent business personal property taxes, clearing the way for the franchise to be sold to the restaurant’s national corporation.

Last month, the restaurant in Chesapeake, now owned by Burger King Corp., reopened its doors. The restaurants in Franklin and Smithfield are slated to open this summer, the company says.

The Azhars are facing numerous felony charges in several different localities in relation to nonpayment of taxes.