State of Florida sues Planet Hollywood for taking job creation money before ghosting

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PHOTO BY YARKOB/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photo by Yarkob/Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has filed a lawsuit against Planet Hollywood International, Inc., alleging the company did not comply with requirements after receiving $288,000 in state incentives to add jobs in Orlando.

The department filed the lawsuit last week in Leon County circuit court, arguing, in part, that the restaurant and hotel company breached a contract with the state.



The dispute stems from $288,000 that then-Gov. Rick Scott approved in 2011 for Planet Hollywood International from the state’s Quick Action Closing Fund program, which tied financial incentives with job creation, according to the lawsuit.

Planet Hollywood International requested the money after acquiring the Buca di Beppo restaurant chain and said it was considering moving Buca di Beppo’s headquarters to Orlando, the lawsuit said.



Under the agreement with the state, Planet Hollywood International was supposed to meet job-creation benchmarks and file regular reports. But the Department of Economic Opportunity alleges that the company did not submit required reports or comply with monitoring.
The lawsuit said the department terminated the agreement in 2016 and demanded repayment of the $288,000 but did not receive the money.

“Without legal justification or excuse, Planet Hollywood has materially breached the contract by failing to create the number of high-wage jobs required under the agreement, by failing to provide DEO the necessary employment and wage documentation and by failing to cooperate with monitoring procedures deemed appropriate by DEO,” the lawsuit said.

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