$5 million may end liquor store quarrel; Yankee Spirits suits nearing settlement.


Byline: Craig S. Semon

STURBRIDGE - Billed as having New England's largest selection of beer, wine and spirits, Yankee Spirits has also been the home of family strife, which has been brewing for at least a year and a half.

Father and son have been bitterly butting heads since October 2008 over ownership and control of the company, according to records in a pending lawsuit in Worcester Superior Court. But a $5 million deal may bring an end to the litigation between father and son, though not necessarily the bad feelings.

In the dispute, in which father and son filed lawsuits against each other, the father accused his son of "false and material misrepresentations," "fraudulent conduct" and having no intention of following through on their original business deal.

Yankee Spirits recently asked selectmen for approval for the transfer of stock, naming of new officers and directors, change of manager and pledge of license and stock. In addition to approval from Sturbridge, Attleboro and Swansea (all homes of Yankee Spirits retail stores), the proposed agreement needs approval from the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

In the proposed agreement, Michael D. Cimini, 40, of 8 Sidney Road, Sturbridge, will give up all of his interest in the company to his father, Donald F. Cimini, 68, of East Longmeadow, and several partners, David Cummings of Taunton, James Juliano of North Attleboro and Thomas Tesauro of Cohasset.

In addition, the father will become president, treasurer, secretary and director of Yankee Spirits and Mr. Cummings, Mr. Juliano and Mr. Tesauro, all directors.

If approved, litigation titled "Michael D. Cimini and YSI Business Trust V. Donald F. Cimini" will be dismissed, Michael Cimini said. He did not want to comment on the litigation. However, he is happy with the "mutually agreed sum" in the deal.

Shaun A. Suhoski, town administrator, confirmed that the deal is worth $5 million to Michael Cimini.

On May 17, lawyer Brian S. Fitzgerald, representing Yankee Spirits, called the business transaction "just a change of ownership." The legal sparring began with a complaint filed on Oct. 3, 2008, in Worcester Superior Court by Michael Cimini against his father. The lawsuit claimed Michael as the sole owner of Yankee Spirits and the sole trustee and beneficiary of YSI Business Trust, which is the sole owner of Yankee Spirits.

According to the complaint, Michael Cimini is the president, treasurer and a director of Yankee Spirits...

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