Austin, Texas-based Katz's Deli & Bar was placed in the care of District Judge Paul Davis last week after owner 54-year-old Marc Katz sought to prevent his son, 30-year-old Barry Katz, from running the business into the ground.

Barry Katz was given a 49% stake in the restaurant in 1997, but his father now says that he has siphoned off US$1m from the business in order to fund his own Houston-based Katz's Deli. According to the lawsuit, the money was generated by a bank loan in the Austin restaurant's name, and was then lent to his Houston restaurant interest-free until 2020. Barry Katz also allegedly pays himself an annual salary of US$414,000 from the Austin restaurant.

Speaking to the Austin American-Statesman, Marc Katz said: "It hurts more than anything I've ever done as a father and as a businessman. This is the last resort. There is no other solution to sustain the company."

Marc Katz, who opened the 24-hour outlet in 1979, has asked the judge to oversee the sale of the Austin restaurant and split the proceeds between him and his son, after adjusting for the money allegedly funnelled off.