Koreatown coffee shop sale turns ugly. $400K bench verdict. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Minority partner in coffee shop says she was defrauded by the majority owners.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jang v. J.S.M. Heyri, Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles County Superior Court / BC563151
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
  • Type of Action: Breach of Contract, Fraud
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Rafael Ongeko
  • Plaintiffs:
    Hyun Joo Jang
  • Defendants:
    J.S.M. Heyri, Inc.
  • Type of Result: Bench Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $400,000
  • Net Verdict or Award: $400,000
  • Economic Damages:

    $400,000

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Kring & Chung LLP by Laura Hess, Irvine.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Kim Au & Associates by John Kim, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff invested $200,000 in a coffee shop business in Koreatown, CCL Coffee Co. Inc. dba Heyri Café, in exchange for a 20% shareholder interest. Plaintiff received distributions for the first year of operations.

    After the first year, plaintiff and defendants entered into a new agreement whereby plaintiff agreed to waive shareholder distributions for 5 years, and in exchange defendants agreed to sell the business in 5 years and pay plaintiff her $200,000 plus interest out of the sale proceeds.

    Plaintiff discovered that, instead of selling the business as agreed, defendants instead dissolved the former corporation, opened a new corporation, and transferred the business into the new corporation in order to avoid paying plaintiff. Plaintiff contended that defendants fraudulently transferred  assets.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants contended Jae Wol Ma was the sole shareholder of both corporations and that they had no business relationship with plaintiff. Defendants denied plaintiff was ever an owner of the Heyri Café. Defendants contended they dissolved the old corporation and opened the new corporation because an employee stole money and checks, and because they wanted to revitalize the business.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • $200,000 principal and $200,000 interest calculated at 10% per annum for 10 years.

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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