On April 22, 2015, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed the criminal charges against Uncle Sam’s Restaurant Owner, Bret Frimmel. The decision follows a previous ruling by the judge finding that the search warrants obtained by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were acquired under false pretenses and without probable cause. Phoenix attorneys Leon Silver, Andy Jacob, and Gary Lento were all part of the defense team for Silver’s long-time client.
In July 2013, MCSO raided two Uncle Sam’s restaurants and Frimmel’s home to investigate the alleged employment of individuals not authorized to work in the United States. Six months later, MCSO charged Frimmel with various identity theft crimes related to the hiring of undocumented workers. The prosecution arose from the notorious attempts by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to enforce immigration laws in the face of a federal injunction prohibiting him from such enforcement.
On April 15, 2015, after holding an evidentiary hearing, the court ruled that all eight search warrants issued in Frimmel’s case were based on false and misleading statements and important omissions by the Sheriff’s office, without which, no probable cause existed. This dismissal of all charges followed one week later.
At an April 23, 2015 press conference, Phoenix office co-Managing Partner, Leon Silver, explained that the matter now turns to a civil claim filed by the Gordon & Rees Phoenix team seeking damages for wrongful arrest, wrongful prosecution, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, injury to business interests and personal reputation, for lost past and future profits and attorneys’ fees and expenses. A preliminary analysis of these claims estimated the actual monetary harm to the business near $8 million.