When another Cite prep cook, Floriberto Hernandez, met Jayaraman, she told him that if three workers showed up, ROC-NY would invest in their fight.
Neither was viable for restaurant workers, so ROC-NY agreed to match the Italians' $500,000 investment, intending to place its dividends in a separate fund for new co-ops.
The deal fell through, but the landlord didn't return the money, forcing ROC-NY to sue for repayment.
Months earlier, the members had agreed to a design in which the Italians and ROC-NY each held a 40 percent interest.
Five members presented demands to ROC-NY, including a 33 percent share for the worker-owners.
ROC-NY appears to be using tax-exempt funding for purposes outside the rules governing 501c(3) organizations.
ROC-NY was created following September 11, 2001 in an effort to assist displaced restaurant workers in attaining new jobs in New York restaurants.