Thanks to the 2008 foreclosure crisis, a Kuwaiti ponzi schemer was able to single-handedly blight cities across America

After the 2008 economic crash and the ensuing foreclosure crisis, AbdulAziz HouHou ran a ponzi scheme that bilked other Kuwaitis out of millions that were spent buying and flipping foreclosed houses across America, particularly in hard-hit rustbelt towns like Buffalo and Rochester. Read the rest

Fishmonger shut down after gluing googly eyes on his catch

To make his fish look fresher, a Kuwaiti fishmonger glued googly eyes on his stock. The Kuwaiti Commerce Ministry reportedly forced him to close shop after a Facebook video showing the infraction went viral.

As one Twitter user wrote, "Never judge the freshness of fish by the googliness of their eyes." Truer words, truer words... Read the rest

Benihana Kuwait sues blogger for $18,000 over bad review

Mark Makhoul, a Lebanese software developer and blogger in Kuwait, wrote an unflattering review of the newly opened Benihana restaurant in Kuwait. Quickly, his blog's comment section filled with clumsy astroturf posts, all sent from the same IP address, purportedly reports from satisfied diners who disagreed with his assessment.

Then it got weirder: the restaurant's manager, Mike Servo, posted a comment accusing the writer of shilling for his competitors, and threatened a lawsuit. A few hours later, he filed a lawsuit (English translation PDF) for KD5001 (about $18,000) against Makhoul, asserting that the review was "fabricated" to gain publicity.

And so, we order the payment of KD5001 as a compensation for the damages caused to the restaurant management and for encouraging large number of customers not to try the restaurant by insulting, doubting the quality and food served by Benihana and using expressions that disgust people from trying the food. The person has caused huge material damages to the restaurant, ethic damage to the restaurant's reputation as an international brand that has chains all over the world as well as hurt the restaurant's potential to expand in Kuwait by influencing all kinds of nationalities not to try a restaurant that offers a specific type of food that is subject to taste preference.

This morning, I spoke with Michael Kata, COO and Executive Vice President of Benihana of Tokyo, who license the Kuwaiti franchise. He hadn't seen the suit yet, and while he said he could not offer specific comment, he confirmed that a lawsuit over a bad review was "unprecedented" in the firm's history. Read the rest