Trimper shareholders sue for $245 million | News

Three shareholders of Windsor Resort Inc. and its associated companies filed a lawsuit seeking $245 million in compensatory and punitive damages from other shareholders who at one time had control of the company.

It was filed in Worcester County Circuit Court on March 23. 

Plaintiffs Antoinette Bruno, Wendy Delamater and Joyce Trimper allege through nine causes of action that when the defendants’ side of the Trimper family controlled the business from 1995 to early 2020, they misappropriated and wasted company assets, falsified documents and defrauded share-holders, according to the suit.

The defendants are J. Douglas Trimper, Linda Trimper Holloway and Stephanie Trimper Lewis, who are all siblings, as well as Doug Trimper’s two sons Lewis Gordon Brooks Trimper and the estate of Christopher M. Trimper who died from an allergic reaction to shellfish in October 2019. 

All defendants are descendants of Granville Trimper, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that during the time that side of the family ran the company, annual reports to shareholders showed that expenses increased significantly, and that, when questioned about it, the defendants would falsely represent them as legitimate. 

In 2009, a ledger made available to the plaintiffs showed that money from the company had been used to buy two cars in the name of two defendants, for which Doug Trimper was fired, according to the suit. 

The suit also claims that the defendants skimmed cash through ticket sale schemes, like not reporting ticket sales for amusements owned by the defendants so they could retain all the revenue, according to the suit. It goes on alleging that they diverted the same unreported tickets to other rides so the defendants could make extra commission.

Plaintiffs allege that defendants also skimmed cash at a company owned arcade by skewing the numbers of returned tickets and tinkering with arcade games that, in some instances, only took record of coins and not dollar bills.

Once the defendants left company leadership electronic “thrill cards” replaced 90 percent of cash transactions at the arcade, which made obvious the cash shortages from previous years, according to the suit.

Plaintiffs accused defendants of having the company  pay for personal expenses, like cell phones, home renovations, cable service and legal fees for an IRS investigation into one of the defendants.

The suit also alleges that the defendants collected full-time salaries while only giving part-time work and that they intentionally logged business expenses into dysfunctional book-keeping software so their misappropriations were difficult to track.

Plaintiffs claimed that defendants falsely represented the company as being $2 million in debt, but when the defendants stepped away from company control, the true figure was revealed to be $4.6 million.

Defendants are suing for $15 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages for seven out of the nine claims.

In their seventh claim, plaintiffs asked that the defendants fully account for all the companies financial affairs between 1995 and 2020, and in their eighth claim, they requested payment for damages estimated at $75,000.

Before filing the suit, the plaintiffs sent a written request to the company’s shareholders, to which they did not  respond, according to the suit.

As of Tuesday, defendants have not yet filed a response to the suit.

This story appears in the April 7, 2023 print edition of the OC Today.

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