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Friday, January 17, 2020

Willoughby Brewing Company Reopens After Tax Issue, Owner Still Facing Lawsuit From Minority Owner

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 12:11 PM

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Update: In case you missed it, Willoughby Brewing Company reopened earlier this week after being shuttered briefly by the Ohio department of taxation for failing to file sales tax receipts.

But, as WKYC reported, principle owner Rollin G. Cooke III is apparently facing other troubles. Channel 3 reported that Cooke was sued last year by Cheryl Heineman, a current minority owner who alleges that Cooke, who is also in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings, coerced her into selling him shares. He now owns 90 percent of the business. She'd acquired her shares  from her son, Sean Heineman, who was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting a victim from the time she was 6 years old until she was 19. He's currently serving a 35-year prison sentence.

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(Original story 1/10/20): Willoughby Brewing Company, after failing to pay state sales tax for two months, has been shuttered by the state of Ohio department of taxation.

The official notice was posted on the brewery's front door this week as comedy shows scheduled at the venue for this weekend scrambled to find alternate spots.

Willoughby Brewing, which opened in 1998 and was one of the first craft breweries in Northeast Ohio, could reopen once it settles up its tab with the state. The brewery's Facebook and Twitter pages have been deleted, which doesn't bode well, but the company said in a statement to WKYC, "There was an administerial error that will be corrected. We will be up and running shortly."

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