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A tale of two sushis

A Yukon businessman is suing his former business partner over a Whitehorse sushi restaurant
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A man enters Golden Sakura Japanese Restaurant on Wood Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 1. On Oct. 31, Xun Wen (an equal shareholder in the restaurant) filed a statement of claim against his former business partner, Guo Hua Qiu. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

A Yukon businessman has filed a lawsuit against his former business partner over a Whitehorse sushi restaurant after being given the green light by a Yukon Supreme Court Justice in July.

On Oct. 31, Xun Wen filed a statement of claim against Guo Hua Qiu.

Wen and Qiu are equal shareholders of a company known as Qui’s Restaurant Inc. The company opened Sakura Sushi Japanese Restaurant at 404 Wood St. in 2008.

Qiu was the former director of the company.

The pair (childhood friends, according to the statement of claim) had each invested $15,000 into the restaurant and verbally agreed to a 50/50 split in terms of ownership.

The lawsuit alleges that in September 2015, Qiu issued himself a $100,000 cheque from Qiu’s Restaurant Inc. without Wen’s authorization, and deposited this money into his personal bank account.

It further alleges that in October 2015, while Wen was on a trip to China, Qiu changed the locks on the doors of the restaurant and “cancelled the Visa account of Qiu’s restaurant that was used to purchase inventory and pay the daily expenses for Sakura in an attempt to stop the operation of Sakura.”

The suit says Qiu changed the name of the restaurant to Golden Sakura Japanese restaurant and re-opened for business in January 2016, using the equipment, inventory and liquor license that was paid for by Sakura.

The suit says Wen discovered that Qiu had established a new numbered company (535993 Yukon Inc.) and incorporated it as a holding company for Golden Sakura.

It also says Qiu paid $7,500 to a lawyer from the Qiu’s Restaurant account.

Wen’s suit asks for “an accounting and the return of all the profits made by 535993 Yukon Inc. (Qiu’s numbered company) through the operation of Golden Sakura to the Plaintiff.”

Among other things, it asks that Qiu pay back the $107,500 he allegedly withdrew for personal use. It also asks that Qiu “stops the operation of Golden Sakura and returns the premises at 404 Wood St. Whitehorse Yukon to the Plaintiff and assigns its lease along with any rights for renewal to the Plaintiff.”

Alternatively, it seeks to have Qiu’s company pay “a fair market price to be determined at trial to the Plaintiff to buy the goodwill, equipment and inventory of Sakura.”

A case management conference will be held on Nov. 14.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com