Pizza fraud alleged in $30 million suit

MARYLAND WATCH

September 26, 1997

There's a pizza war in Baltimore.

In a $30 million lawsuit filed yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court, Syed L. Zaidi alleges that he was cheated out of his Pizza Boli's franchise in 1994, when he went to visit his sick father in Pakistan.

The lawsuit charges that Pizza Boli's Systems Inc. and two of its top officers -- Mohammad Nasir and Syed Shah -- committed fraud and breached its franchise agreement in taking over Zaidi's pizza store in the 3800 block of Liberty Heights Ave.

Zaidi claims he was fraudulently enticed into investing thousands of dollars to open a franchise, on the promise that he would someday own it. But, the suit says, Zaidi found the locks changed and his corporate books missing when he returned from Pakistan.

He alleges that the chain had seized control of the store while he was gone and ordered his employees to have no further contact with him.

Zaidi seeks $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages in the lawsuit.

Nasir declined to comment. He referred questions to his attorney, who could not be reached for comment.

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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