Make us your home page
Instagram

Family feud over 'Bollywood Oscars' prompts lawsuit

TAMPA — The feud dividing one of the bay area's most prominent Indian families, born from their eventually successful quest to lure the "Bollywood Oscars" to Tampa, has gone legal.

Dr. Kiran Patel — the wealthy health care executive and philanthropist — has sued his brother-in-law, Chetan Shah, alleging Shah fraudulently listed Patel as a managing member of Go Bollywood Tampa Bay Florida Convention LLC, a host committee to the 2014 International Indian Film Academy awards gala in Tampa.

Shah created Go Bollywood in June 2013 as he tried to convince people that Tampa was a legitimate contender to land the IIFA awards, which had never come to the United States.

Shah added Patel's name without permission "to create instant credibility for GBTB (Go Bollywood) by utilizing Patel's good name and reputation," according to the lawsuit, filed in Hillsborough County circuit court May 29.

Patel, along with Go Bollywood, faced lawsuits in Hillsborough and New York courts from companies that asserted they had been promised business from the IIFA awards. The local suit was dismissed; the New York case continues.

In a phone interview Thursday, Shah denied adding Patel's name to Go Bollywood's incorporating documents without permission, and said the two sides were working on a settlement.

"Good news and a win-win situation is going to happen to all the parties," said Shah, 48.

Patel, 65, and his attorney, Leonard Englander, declined to comment Thursday.

In July, when local tourism and elected officials triumphantly announced the 2014 IIFA awards were coming to Tampa, most of the credit was given to Shah, a Lutz businessman who owns a motel and several dry cleaning stores.

When the gala was presented in late April, though, organizers lauded Patel instead.

In early May, a Tampa Bay Times article recounted reasons behind the shifting credit and revealed the family rift.

Shah had bungled a business deal that nearly scuttled the event in Tampa, according to Wizcraft, the Mumbai company that puts on the awards.

In late 2013, as Wizcraft threatened to take the upcoming gala elsewhere, Patel stepped in and underwrote the event with an undisclosed amount of money.

Shah refutes the claims by Wizcraft officials and says he was wrongfully cut out of the planning process and denied rightful credit for his role as "founder of IIFA Tampa Bay."

Earlier this year, after Shah was not invited to an awards planning event in Tampa, he briefly went on a liquid hunger strike in protest. He also spent several weeks sleeping on the floor of a small office, rather than in his suburban mansion, also to protest his treatment by organizers.

Despite these remonstrations, it was Patel who walked on stage at Raymond James Stadium on April 26 to applause while Shah sat in the audience.

Shah — whose older sister, Dr. Pallavi Patel, is Kiran Patel's wife — has been negotiating a settlement through "family mediators," he said Thursday, not face-to-face.

"So our family relations stay maintained," he explained.

Shah expressed confidence that the dispute would end soon and he would be given credit he is owed, he said.

"Whatever I have lost by them dropping me as the person that brought IIFA to Tampa Bay, I am gaining it back," Shah said. "I am like the man who set the table for a large dinner, and who said dinner is served, and everyone came to eat the dinner, but forgot who served the dinner."

Will Hobson can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3400.

Family feud over 'Bollywood Oscars' prompts lawsuit 06/05/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2014 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]