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George Maloof, Michael Morton reach settlement, part ways

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

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George Maloof

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King of clubs: Michael Morton, co-founder of the N9NE Group, is shown at Nove Italiano restaurant, one of his seven venues at the Palms.

Palms hotel-casino owner George Maloof Jr. in Las Vegas is parting ways with restaurant and nightclub operator Michael Morton and the parties have settled their litigation.

The litigation, concerning claims Morton mismanaged and diverted some of their joint-venture assets to himself and to his new wine bar restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, was settled in an "amicable and mutually beneficial" way, the Palms said in a statement today.

"Under the terms of their settlement, George Maloof will take over the management of N-M Ventures, the entity that owns and operates N9NE Steakhouse, Ghostbar, Rain Nightclub, Nove Italiano, the Playboy Club, Moon Nightclub and the Stuff store, all in the Palms Casino Resort," the Palms said in its statement.

Morton has sold his interest in the venture and will turn his attention to his wine bar restaurant "La Cave" at Wynn Las Vegas, along with other business interests, the statement said, adding "the parties have wished each other well in their future business endeavors.''

In the litigation with Maloof, Morton had denied the allegations of wrongdoing and said Maloof and disgruntled investors in his N9NE Group were wrongly trying to remove him from their lucrative venture.

The litigation that was settled included a Sept. 30 lawsuit pitting Morton against Maloof and the Palms; and a related complaint against Morton by disgruntled N9NE Group investors including Chicago-based investment firm Silver Young Capital LLC.

"It was a global settlement," said an attorney for the investors, James Pisanelli of the Las Vegas law firm Pisanelli Bice PLLC.

The parties declined to comment on the terms of the settlement. It wasn't disclosed who Morton sold his interest in the business to, but it's believed that Morton's interest in the business is being assumed by the existing investors as opposed to an outside party.

The Greenspun family, owner of the Las Vegas Sun, is a minority investor in the Palms.

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  1. I'm so disappointed, I wanted to see the dirt go public!

  2. Beneficial yes, amicable I don't think so. Knew this was going to happen, neither side wanted to have their dirty laundry aired, in my opinion. The lawyers must be quite disappointed, think of all those potential billable hours lost. Oh well. It's funny how things turn around so quickly, last week one party is calling the other a thief, now they are wishing them well in their future business endeavors.

  3. This is just a continuing pattern of the casinos reigning in control of the clubs operating on their properties. Due to all of the allegations of extortion, drug use, sexual assaults, extortion, abusive behavior and prostitution among other criminal activities in the clubs, this has to happen. The Gaming Commission has turned up the heat on the casino operators. In turn, they are dismissing the management companies or buying them out. Angel Management Group will be the monopoly club operator and they have a strict agreement with the major properties to run a tight ship in their venues. The best thing to happen to the nightlife industry was getting rid of Pure Management Group.

  4. It will eventually leak out.

  5. I've also parted ways with the Palms since Maloof saw fit to back Harry the Red's re-election bid.

  6. It sure would have been interesting to read the court Complaint on the Maloof v. Morton case. Has The Sun stopped posting important Nevada court complaints?

    If The Sun has stopped doing so because of fear of defamation claims by the defendants, it would seem appropriate that The Sun seek improvements in Nevada's "First Amendment" laws.

    The posting of court complaints is often a far better way to understand complicated issues important to Las Vegas than forcing reporters to compress complicated issues into short stories.