7-Eleven Inc. filed a federal lawsuit this week against a franchisee who the company says was "mistakenly" given nearly $5 million and won’t give it back, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chablis told the News-Journal that 7-Eleven closed the 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," Chablis said. "We exercised our right to take possession of our system, our proprietary equipment and merchandise. We are terminating the franchise agreement with this person."
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, the News-Journal reported.
Court documents show that 7-Eleven "mistakenly made a series of deposits" totaling $4,954,614 into an account held by George and her corporation, according to the News-Journal.
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 states.
University of Florida Professor Bart Weitz told the newspaper he figured the event was an anomaly that won’t impact 7-Eleven’s ability to franchise in Florida.