NEW YORK – Soupman Inc., a producer and marketer of “Original Soupman” branded soups, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company licenses the name and recipes created by Al Yeganeh who inspired the “Soup Nazi” character in the popular “Seinfeld” television series.
The company secured a new $2 million debtor-in-possession credit facility (DIP) from an independent third-party private investment firm to keep the business running.
“The combination of legacy liabilities and recent company developments have made it necessary to seek bankruptcy protection,” said Soupman CEO Jamie Karson. “This will ensure that our delicious soups remain on grocery shelves throughout the country which is in the best interests of all of our stakeholders and customers.”
The announcement comes after federal prosecutors indicted the company’s former CFO and president, Bob Bertrand, on charges of federal tax fraud for alleged misconduct for the period of 2010-2014. In May, Bertrand was charged in Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, with 20 counts of failure to pay Medicare, Social Security and federal income taxes for the period between 2010 and 2014. Court documents state that from 2010 through 2014, Soupman’s total approximate unreported cash and stock compensation was $2,850,967.59, and the total approximate tax loss to the United States was allegedly $593,971.52. Bertrand entered a plea of not guilty.
“The ongoing support from our lender through our new DIP facility will allow us to continue business operations as normal,” Karson said. “We anticipate that there will be no disruption in the quality of our product or service that we provide to our vendors and customers during this transition period.”