Current and former shareholders of the company that owned Sakura Sushi in Whitehorse will battle over the company’s ownership in court. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News)

Former Whitehorse sushi restaurant shareholder to pursue suit against company director

A Yukon Supreme Court judge has given a former shareholder of the company that owned Sakura Sushi Japanese Restaurant in Whitehorse the go-ahead to pursue legal action against the company’s director for “the taking and/or diverting a business opportunity and profit as well as for misappropriation of funds.”

In a decision issued July 5, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale gave Xun Wen permission to file a statement of claim on behalf of Qiu’s Restaurant Inc., which owned Sakura, against company director Guo Hua Qiu.

Wen and Qiu are both equal shareholders of Qiu’s Restaurant Inc., which opened Sakura in 2008. That restaurant shut down in October 2015.

A month later, according to Veale’s decision, Qiu had incorporated 535993 Yukon Inc., of which he is director and Wen holds no shares. On Jan. 21, 2016, 535993 Yukon Inc. opened a new sushi restaurant, Golden Sakura Sushi Japanese Restaurant, in the same location as Sakura using the same equipment, inventory and liquor licence.

Qiu also issued a $100,000 cheque to himself from Qiu’s Restaurant Inc., which Qiu said he later spent on covering the company’s expenses, and authorized $7,500 in legal fees while Sakura was closed, Veale wrote.

Qiu argued that closing Sakura was in the company’s best interests because “its funds were being misappropriated by members of Mr. Wen’s family,” the decision says, but, “without further specific evidence, the Court cannot draw any inferences from these documents.”

“On balance, at this stage, the derivative action appears to be in the interests of Qiu’s Restaurant Inc.,” Veale wrote.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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