The Stark County couple accused of ripping off craft breweries nationwide have filed for personal bankruptcy.
Jason and Amanda Spurrell, who operated the defunct SysTech Stainless Works in Canton, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Canton.
They listed their assets as $38,273.92, with total liabilities of $377,077.95. They checked a box estimating the number of creditors at between 50 and 99.
They also estimated their monthly income at $5,120.
SysTech, which went out of business suddenly last year, has faced accusations and lawsuits from craft breweries around the country that it provided defective equipment or delivered no equipment at all after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in deposits. Some breweries also said they received equipment made in China when SysTech had promised American-made products.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office received more than a dozen complaints against the company and handed the investigation over to the FBI. The federal agency declined to comment on its investigation.
The Beacon Journal/?Ohio.com reported on the complaints in December.
"It was losing money and they couldn’t continue operating," their bankruptcy attorney Anthony J. DeGirolamo of Canton said about the business.
The Spurrells filed for bankruptcy under their individual names and not the business. Chapter 7 is for individuals who have financial problems and can’t pay their debts.
Jason Spurrell listed his occupation as an electrician, having just started a new job last month. His wife noted that she is not employed. They had both been receiving unemployment compensation.
The couple rent their Lawrence Township home, according to the filing.
They also revealed that they were 100 percent owners of SysTech Stainless Works, Hall of Fame Brew Shop, Final Gravity Home Brew, Ace Metalworks and Fabrication LLC, Ace Metalworks LLC and Microbev Systems LLC, and a 33 percent owner of Belfry Brewing Co. Microbev and Belfry never operated, the paperwork says.
The only secured creditor listed on the paperwork is Huntington National Bank for a vehicle loan.
The largest unsecured creditors include: Rome City Brewing Co. in Rome, Ga., which won a $307,458 default judgment against them; and Screech Owl Brewing in Bruceton Mills, W.Va., for $34,813.82.
A meeting of creditors has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. July 10 at the federal courthouse in Canton.
The bankruptcy filing noted that the Spurrells and one of their companies still face pending lawsuits in Stark County Common Pleas Court and Canton Municipal Court.
Other lawsuits in Georgia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have been concluded, the paperwork says.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his beer blog at www.Ohio.com/?beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.