Chefs of Napoli scrambles to update state documents after founder’s arrest

Luigi Barile

After a founder of the Chefs of Napoli restaurant chain was arrested last week in connection with a human trafficking case, representatives from the Wildwood location took issue with a Villages-News.com article and other news media stories listing him as a co-owner of the business.

An attorney for SGTBG LLC claims in a letter to Villages-News.com that his client purchased the Wildwood eatery, Chefs of Napoli III, in 2016. The attorney, Josh Rubin, of Shutts & Bowen in Fort Lauderdale, included a bill of sale dated Sept. 16, 2016 showing the sale price as “Ten Dollars ($10.00) and other valuable consideration paid by SGTBG LLC.”

Chefs of Napoli III Sunbiz.org report as of May 19

On Friday, May 17, when the story about Barile’s arrest was published, the Florida Division of Corporations website showed Barile and his partner, Antonio Cacace, as being the owners of Chefs of Napoli III, with the principal address being 9809 N U.S. Hwy. 301 in Wildwood. Documents on the site, also known as Sunbiz.org, also showed Barile and Cacace owning locations in Spring Hill and Ocala, as well as an inactive corporate filing for an Inverness location.

The Wildwood restaurant’s 2019 Florida Profit Corporation Annual Report, which was filed May 1, also listed Barile and Cacace as the officers/directors, along with Concetta Cacace. The principal place of business address was at 9809 N U.S. Hwy. 301 in Wildwood. The mailing address for the financial report was 3487 Misty View Drive in Spring Hill, which is Barile’s home address. And the report was electronically signed on May 1 by Barile.

On Tuesday, the principal address on Sunbiz.org for Chefs of Napoli III changed to 3487 Misty View Drive. And President Concetta Cacace’s address changed from 4113 Gevalia Drive in Spring Hill to Via Gino Severini, #6, 80078 Monterusciello NA IT.

Chefs of Napoli III also filed a 2019 Florida Profit Corporation Amended Annual Report on Tuesday that changes the current principal place of business from 9809 N U.S. Hwy. 301 in Wildwood to 3487 Misty View Drive in Spring Hill. Concetta Cacace’s address also was changed. And the electronic signature dated May 21 was changed from Barile to Antonio Cacace.

In his letter to Villages-News.com, attorney Rubin says: “Although at the time of the arrest it appears that Chefs III still had (its) address listed in Sunbiz/Division of Corporations as 9809 N. U.S. Highway 301, Wildwood, Florida, in response to our demand that Chefs III immediately update their corporate filings, they did.”

In a Friday press conference announcing the arrests of Barile and eight other men in the human trafficking case, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis referred to Barile as a “restauranteur here in Hernando County and other areas of the state.” And a document filed in Hernando Court on Wednesday says that Barile is the “owner/operator of three restaurants.”

The Chefs of Napoli website, which includes a link to Chefs of Napoli III in Wildwood – it is listed as being in The Villages even though it is not – features a historical story about Barile and Cacace under the “About Us” tab. It also includes a cartoon drawing of the two founders in its header. And on its homepage the Wildwood location is listed as well.

In his letter to Villages-News.com, attorney Rubin claims that his clients, who aren’t listed by name, have independently owned and operated the Chefs of Napoli III restaurant in Wildwood since “late 2016.” And he says that neither “Mr. Barile nor Chefs III” transact any business at the Wildwood location, which still bears the name of Chefs of Napoli III.

“Simply put, Mr. Barile has no affiliation, ownership, or involvement with the Restaurant whatsoever,” the letter says.

It its Sunbiz.org listing, SGTBG LLC lists its principal address and mailing address as 9811 N U.S. Hwy. 301 in Wildwood. Two managers are listed as authorized personnel: Baldev Virdi and Sukhleen Virdi. They filed articles of organization as a Florida Limited Liability Company on June 10, 2016 that lists the address of the Wildwood restaurant but doesn’t list its name.

Financial reports filed on March 23, 2017; March 12, 2018 and March 27, 2019 all show addresses in Wildwood, but again, the eatery isn’t named.

Attorney Ruben’s letter says that three U.S. 301 addresses – 9807, 9809 and 9811 – belong to the restaurant.