Denver beverage distributor sues embattled local investor

The Incredible Wine & Spirits store on East Arapahoe Road in Englewood. (Thomas Gounley)

A Denver beverage distributor says it is owed money by a Cherry Hills Village businessman who recently was indicted for securities fraud.

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Colorado sued Gary J. Dragul and MC Liquor 02 LLC on June 1.

Southern Glazer’s alleges the company which does business as Incredible Wine & Spirits at 8557A E. Arapahoe Road in Englewood owes $28,120 for products delivered.

Also on June 1, Southern Glazer’s sued Dragul’s wife, Shelly, and Cornerstar Wine & Liquor LLC, saying that company owes it $84,923. Cornerstar Wine & Liquor operates at 15405 E. Briarwood Circle in Aurora.

Stanley Garnett of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, an attorney representing the Draguls, said his clients believed the lawsuits stemmed from a “misunderstanding.” He said the bills had been paid in full, and that he expected the lawsuits to be dismissed in the near future.

Brian J. Reichel of Reichel & Associates in Broomfield is representing Southern Glazer’s in the lawsuits. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Gary Dragul, 55, was indicted in April on nine counts of securities fraud.

In the indictment, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman identified Dragul as president of GDA Real Estate Services LLC, a company that uses investor money to purchase and manage shopping centers and other commercial real estate.

Coffman said that in addition to selling membership interests in numerous LLCs, in 2007, Dragul and GDA also offered investors promissory notes with varying rates and durations, despite failing to register the promissory notes and never being licensed to sell securities.

Coffman said that, while soliciting new investors in 2013, Dragul failed to disclose debts and civil lawsuits involving former investors.

Coffman also alleges that Dragul used investor funds for personal use, including payments to Las Vegas casinos, credit card companies, liquor stores and for travel on a private jet.

Dragul’s company was part-owner of downtown Denver’s Writer’s Square until 2013, according to The Denver Post.

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