Benihana Restaurant Saga Founder Rocky Aoki's estate sparks huge battle
The Benihana Japanese restaurant saga........ When Benihana founder Rocky Aoki died in 2008 he left behind an estate that is still being fought over. Aoki was forced to set up trusts in 1998 to remove himself from the company after being convicted of insider trading. When he died the trust went to his widow and 3rd wife, Keiko, who was intensely disliked by his children. A judge has now ruled the entire trust belongs to Keiko and it is up to her to decide where the money goes when she dies. She is under no obligation to leave the children a dime. They have waged a bitter battle with her in court since the day Rocky died, including producing two documents that Rocky signed in 2002 giving them control of the trust should he die. The judge decided the documents don’t matter. Revenue’s from the chain went into the trust since it was created. The trust allegedly had over $35 million in it prior to a private equity firm buying Benihana last August, insiders estimate it’s close to $60 million now. Keiko is receiving an estimated $250,000 a month right now, the children are getting zero.