Benihana founder's widow loses bid for part of his fortune

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The widow of Benihana's founder has lost her bid for part of his fortune after a yearslong dispute with his children and grandchildren over his will.

New York's top court on Thursday rejected the widow's claim that restrictions Rocky Aoki signed to his will after they were married were fraudulent.

The case has its roots in 1998, when Aoki formed a trust of the restaurant chain's assets with two children and his lawyer as trustees. He married his third wife, Keiko Aoki, in 2002 and signed restrictions months later that prevented him from adding her to his will.

The next year, he signed a supplement to his will appointing Keiko to inherit 25 percent of trust assets and income from the remaining 75 percent.

The Court of Appeals ruled 5-2 in favor of Aoki's descendants.