Owner store

Pet store owner decides to dissolve his business, even though he’s suing the city over the law he says will bankrupt him

A pet store owner who is suing the city over its new pet dealer law, claiming the law will put him out of business, simultaneously asks a court to dissolve the business.

Brothers Keith Lewin and Brian Lewin are locked in a bitter legal battle over ownership of the pet store, The Puppy Experience in Aquebogue, and several other jointly owned businesses.

In a motion filed last August, Keith Lewin asks the court to dissolve the company that operates as The Puppy Experience, order the liquidation of its assets and appoint an arbitrator “to help wind up the affairs” of the company. society.

The company, Lewin K-9 Inc., has “stopped operating effectively,” according to Keith Lewin, who says Brian Lewin has “closed [him] of all business operations and unilaterally took control of … Lewin K-9” without his consent. Keith Lewin says he has been barred from company premises, has no say in its management or operation, has been denied access to its books and records and “has been completely barred from business of the society”.

In his response opposing the motion for dissolution, Brian Lewin denies his brother’s accusations and accuses Keith Lewin of “continuing” to withdraw “large amounts of unauthorized money from the business” without Brian Lewin’s consent …”despite the fact that he has never worked at Lewin K-9 or provided services to the company since its inception,” according to the court filing. Brian Lewin is asking the court to issue an order of dissolution that grants him the right to buy out his brother’s shares.The brothers hold equal shares in the company, according to court documents.

Brothers Keith (centre) and Brian Lewin, after buying The Puppy Experience in 2015, with store manager John Menfi, left. Photo from RiverheadLOCAL file.

In a lawsuit filed against the Town of Riverhead a few months after it filed the dissolution action, Keith Lewin claims he is the owner of Lewin K-9 Inc. and the operator of the business.

The court records in the case against the city contain no mention of Brian Lewin, or of the action taken by Keith Lewin to dissolve the company that operates The Puppy Experience.

Both actions remain pending.

The lawsuit against the city was filed in November by Lewin K-9 Inc., Keith Lewin individually, and People United to Protect Pet Integrity Inc. – a coalition of pet store owners and retail industry members. pet retailer opposed to legislation restricting pet stores. operations. Brian Lewin is not an individual party to the lawsuit.

David Schwartz, attorney for the plaintiffs, said: “The lawsuit against the city was authorized by both brothers and the company. The trial you are interested in [Ed.: the dissolution action] has nothing to do with the lawsuit against the City.

Neither Brian Lewin nor his attorney in the dissolution action responded to telephone inquiries seeking to confirm his involvement in the case against the city or his consent for the company to file the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit against the city, Keith Lewin said the new pet dealers law would effectively put The Puppy Experience out of business.

“Furthermore, without income from The Puppy Experience, I will no longer be able to pay for the overhead of my premises, which includes annual property taxes and my rental payments which I have personally guaranteed,” Keith Lewin states in the affidavit. .

Brothers on trial for Riverhead medical supply company and Mattituck restaurant

The Lewin brothers’ disagreements and court battles extend beyond Lewin K-9. Keith Lewin has filed a Dissolution of Business petition seeking to dissolve Lewin Agency Inc., which does business as Lewin Medical Supply on Oliver Street in Riverhead.

In that action, Keith Lewin similarly claims that he was barred from business dealings and irreconcilable disputes with his brother and partner, which he says resulted in a “hopeless stalemate”. Brian Lewin, for his part, also makes similar statements in this action as he does in the Lewin K-9 action.

Keith Lewin also filed two other lawsuits against his brother.

One involves a dispute between them over four properties in Riverhead Town bought by Brian Lewin under “business deals” between the brothers giving them each a 50% interest in the property, according to Keith Lewin’s complaint.

The other involves North Fork Roadhouse, a restaurant and bar on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, owned by a company in which the Lewin brothers and a third man, Jonathan Troyan, are equal shareholders. The three also own a separate company that holds title to the land where the restaurant is located. In this case, Keith Lewin accuses his brother and Troyan of “breach of fiduciary duty” and other acts of wrongdoing, which the defendants deny.

Those lawsuits also remain pending, according to online court records.

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