Quarrel over gas station lease set for trial


By Heather Willard - hwillard@aimmedianetwork.com



ANNA — An alleged physical takeover of the Shell and Marathon gas stations on either side of Interstate 75 at exit 99 has resulted in a civil case against Anna Truck Stop, LLC, and associated businesses.

The case, first filed on Dec. 12, 2016, by Mahendrakumar Patel, owner of Krish Petroleum Inc., claims the two gas stations were repossessed from a lease agreement on Jan. 26, 2016. The land was leased on Nov. 27, 2013, to Patel by Hissowal Inc., in association with its sister entities Anna Truck Stop, LLC, which are owned or managed by Ranjit Takhar.

Two other companies are involved in the civil suit: A S Fuel America Co. and R&R Takhar Oil Company Inc., which Takhar also owns. Patel allegedly paid a total of $419,000 for the inventory of the convenience stores and goodwill of the businesses.

According to court documents filed by Patel’s lawyer, Takhar physically took possession of both stations with no written notice, and forced Patel and his employees out of the premises. Patel’s wife allegedly was forced to sign a paper by Takhar that she was not able to read because she doesn’t fluently speaking English.

Takhar denies the allegations, claiming instead that Patel was using the businesses to conduct illegal gambling, before they left the country and stopped operating in December 2016.

Documents submitted to the court by Takhar’s lawyer allege that Patel was negligent in operating the business, causing the loss of the businesses’ liquor and lottery licenses and goodwill. It is further alleges fuel sales were not documented and the buildings were not maintained.

To help solve the disagreement before the case reached the court system, a settlement conference was held on April 15, 2016, with several oral agreements reached. These were: Takhar would pay $90,000 for the inventory of the stations within 10 days of the settlement to be held in a trust. From this trust, approximately $24,000 would be deducted to pay bills. It was also allegedly agreed that $110,000 would be paid to Patel’s business within 30 days.

To fulfill this agreement, $90,000 was placed into a trust fund on May 3, 2016, (after the 10 days were done) and over a period of time $9,404.12 was deducted from the account according to Patel.

Takhar denies that there was no other documentation of bills.

However, because of this disagreemnet, Patel and Krish Petroleum are demanding several compensations.

• $110,000 for any breach of the settlement contract.

• $25,000 for damages, including lost profits, from being forced out of the gas stations.

• $25,000 for damages by not being able to operate the gas stations since late January.

• $25,000 for Takhar and his associates building off the good will of the businesses and restocking the inventory.

In total, Patel is asking for over $185,000 in damages.

Takhar is claiming:

• $25,000 for property damages

• $25,000 for attorney fees

• $100,000 for damages caused by criminal, malicious, intentional, willful and wanton misconduct by Patel and his associates.

In total, Takhar is asking for over $150,000 in damages.

In response to this, Patel demanded Takhar’s claims be dismissed.

The case goes to trial on Dec. 12, 2017, in Shelby County Common Pleas Court.

By Heather Willard

hwillard@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.