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Scary chapter added to Carnegie Deli divorce saga

New York spouses sometimes learn very unpleasant things about a former partner when a marriage fails. Surprises during a divorce commonly involve hidden marital property. But, there are cases when a spouse's criminal activity is uncovered.

Manhattan's Carnegie Deli was famous for massive sandwiches since 1937. The business's reputation was stellar until the owner, the daughter of the deli's founder, started having marital problems. Marian Harper Levine's husband, Sanford, managed the deli.

Sanford Levine, now 73, apparently had a lengthy affair with a waitress from Thailand. The relationship led Sanford's wife to sue the pair for a scheme to supply a Thai enterprise, allegedly a twin of the deli, with Carnegie Deli products. Despite the charges, the Levin's divorce agreement included $11,000 in monthly alimony payments to Sanford.

Recently, a judge ordered the alimony stopped after finding out Carnegie Deli had an illegal gas hooking that may have been used to steal gas services for years. Neither former-spouse claimed to know anything about the gas theft. The gas hookup discovery was the final but not the only straw that broke the deli's back.

Carnegie Deli agreed to a $2.65 million settlement after more than two dozen workers filed a lawsuit against the business. The restaurant weathered that blow but closed in spring after the gas was turned off.

Marian couldn't maintain alimony payments without the restaurant income. Sanford recently tried to have Marian jailed for failure to pay.

A Supreme Court justice thought Sanford Levine had plenty of nerve making that request, after the man claimed he single-handedly ran the deli where all these scandals took place. Alimony was suspended until Sanford could show he had nothing to do with the gas theft.

The Levine's legal problems are as great as the deli's famous sandwiches. Your divorce issues may not be so complex, unless an attorney discovers something about an ex you didn't know.

Source: New York Post, "Judge calls Carnegie Deli manager ‘the Shyster of Smoked Meat’," Julia Marsh, Aug. 05, 2015

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