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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. filed a federal lawsuit this week against a franchisee who the company claims was "mistakenly" given nearly $5 million and won't give it back, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the newspaper the retailer closed the franchisee’s store at Clyde Morris Boulevard and Big Tree Road earlier in the week, despite having "every intention" of operating at that location.
"The franchisee owes 7-Eleven a considerable amount of money, and she has basically abandoned operations at the store," Chabris said Friday. "We exercised our right to take possession of our system, our proprietary equipment and merchandise. We are terminating the franchise agreement with this person."
Chablis declined to identify the franchisee, however, federal court records show the suit was filed against Jane L. George and Sarah's Big Tree Gas & Go LLC, a corporation George formed last year. George is the sole managing member, according to state Division of Corporation records, and owns the building and property.
Documents filed with U.S. District Court in Orlando state 7-Eleven "mistakenly made a series of deposits" totaling $4,954,614 into an account held by George and her corporation. After discovering the error, 7-Eleven officials tried to contact George by phone, e-mail, certified mail, hand deliveries and in person, but George has refused to discuss the matter or return the money, the suit stated.
George could not be reached for comment, the newspaper stated.