Twist FroYo partner sues co-owner

Kelly Holleran Oct. 6, 2010, 5:42am

A Madison County man claims he has lost out on 50 percent of the shares of stock in a company after his co-shareholder allegedly started hiding important documents from him.

Edwin Chuck Twesten alleges both he and defendant Robert L. Hollingsworth own 50 percent, or 10 shares, in defendant Twist FroYo Cafes after they entered into a business relationship.

Believing he was a shareholder, Twesten developed a business plan, executed on the plan and opened Twist FroYo's first business in Edwardsville on Aug. 4, the suit states.

However, Hollingsworth denies that Twesten owns an interest in the company and has refused to share monthly balance sheets and other information with Twesten, according to the complaint filed Sept. 30 in Madison County Circuit Court. As a result, Twesten is unsure of the value of his shares and is unable to make decisions regarding Twist Froyo, the suit states.

"As a direct and proximate result of Defendant's breach of his fiduciary duties, Plaintiff has suffered damages, including but not limited to lost profits and a loss of the value of his shares in the Corporation," the suit states.

In an e-mail exchange, Twist FroYo accuses Twesten of turning down a job offer to take a position at Twist FroYo and says Twesten's claim against Hollingsworth is fraud, the lawsuit states.

"Upon your request, a review of the stock grants and options showed Chuck Twesten did not exercise any that was granted to him or pay the costs per share," Hollingsworth wrote in an e-mail to Twesten's attorney, John McCracken. "Mr. Twesten was party to the discussion, revisions and authorization of these on 8/21 and voted for their approval. His share grant expired on 9/21. If the record is incorrect, please provide an executed copy of the stock grant and the cancelled check used to pay for shares so this matter can be cleared up."

In his complaint, Twesten wants the court to remove Hollingsworth as a director of Twist FroYo Cafes and to appoint Twesten to manage the business. In addition, he wants the court to set aside any action Twist FroYo took without proper authority, to order a full accounting of all matters in dispute, to make 15 corporate documents available to Twesten, to award Twesten actual damages of more than $50,000 and payment of the costs of the suit and to grant other relief it deems just. Twesten also seeks a penalty of 10 percent of the value of his shares and compensatory and punitive damages.

John W. McCracken of Coffey and McCracken Law Firm in Edwardsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-1014.

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