Mercado Central Cooperative sued by angry shareholders
Lake Street's Mercado Central is meant to support Latino business owners, but an ongoing lawsuit alleges that it's treating them unfairly and bringing their businesses down.
"My clients believe the board was concealing documents that should have been available to all shareholders and diverted funds to benefit some shareholders more than others," Douglas E. Nepp, the 14 shareholders' attorney, says.
The board has also been unresponsive when his clients bring forward concerns about other tenants selling products they don't have the right to sell, according to Nepp.
Some of the shareholders claim the board threatened to revoke their membership and evict them from Mercado Central.
In its defense, Mercado Central claims in court filings that the cooperative held their annual meeting in November or December in 2008, 2009, and 2010. During this time, some of the plaintiffs currently suing the co-op were on the board that set those dates.
Mercado Central also claims the shareholders have no proof that the board concealed documents or diverted funds.
The fourteen shareholders who are suing Mercado Central are Jose Ariel Aguirre, Medardo Clemente, Enriqueta Cruz, Reyna Cruz, Gerardo Mora, Filiberto Onofre, Rogelio Onofre, Ernesto Payan, Jose Antonio Sanchez, Laura Sanchez, Miguel Sanchez, Jeronimo Valtierrez, Ayde Vasquez, and Alfonso Zendejas.
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