My Brother's Place shareholder seeks unpaid profits in suit

Kelly Holleran Apr. 19, 2010, 10:13am

A shareholder in a Troy bar and grill claims his fellow shareholders refuse to pay him his fair 20 percent share of the business' profits and have been taking unreasonable amounts of food and drink from the establishment.

Thomas Hensiek filed a lawsuit April 15 in Madison County Circuit Court against Martin Cunningham, Matthew Cunningham, Daniel Cunningham and My Brother's Place.

Hensiek claims he contributed $25,000 toward the opening of My Brother's Place and, in turn, became a shareholder in the bar and grill with a 20 percent stake in the corporation. When Hensiek gave the money, the Cunninghams promised him all shareholders would equally share in the company's losses and profits, according to the complaint.

However, the defendants have failed to timely distribute profits to shareholders from 2005 until now, have failed to properly allocate profits to shareholders from 2005 until now, have failed to make the company's financial statements available and have failed to exercise reasonable care over the corporation, according to Hensiek's complaint. In addition, the defendants failed to notify and improperly excluded Hensiek from meetings between My Brother's Place shareholders and directors; took money from the corporation for their own personal benefit; converted the corporation's personal property, including food and beverages, for their own and their family member's use; and intentionally misrepresented the revenue and profits of the establishment to Hensiek and federal and state taxing authorities, the suit states.

"Defendant has, on repeated occasions since the corporate business began in 2005, taken and unlawfully converted food and beverages of the Corporation to his own use and benefit by consuming food and beverages himself and giving away food and beverages to others, without reimbursement to the corporation," the complaint says about each of the Cunninghams. "Plaintiff has previously demanded that Defendant reimburse the Corporation for the value of the food and beverages consumed and given away by the Defendant. Despite demand, Defendant has failed and refused to reimburse the Corporation or Plaintiff for the value of the food and beverages."

As a result, Hensiek claims Martin Cunningham, Matthew Cunningham and Daniel Cunningham should be removed as directors and officers of My Brother's Place. He wants the court to order a full accounting of all matters in dispute, to award him actual damages of more than $50,000, to order payment of costs of the suit and to grant other relief it deems just. Hensiek also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Christopher P. Threlkeld and Michael J. Hertz of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld and Dawson in Edwardsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-427.

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