The ASR Group, the Florida-based company that is owned by Florida Crystals and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, has pushed back hard against the allegations made against them, calling the allegations made in a recently-file lawsuit claiming, "absolutely false."
The complaint alleges that ASR purchased Cuban-based sugar that then shipped to London, England.
ASR Group and Florida Crystals are owned and operated by the Fanjul family of Palm Beach County, whose like many other Cuban-American families, have felt the iron fist that the Castro regime in Cuba has ruled with for over five decades.
In a joint statement by Alfonso and Jose “Pepe” Fanjul in response to the lawsuit, the legal action is dismissed as being “absolutely false” and “offensive,” adding that if the attorneys handling the case would have reviewed the public records posted about the actual shipment in question, they would have realized that the allegations made against ASR Group were false.
“A lawsuit making outrageous claims that ASR Group International, Inc., a company affiliated with the Fanjul family, purchased sugar from Cuba is absolutely false,” stated the joint Fanjul statement. ‘ We are shocked that the plaintiffs and their attorneys filed these false claims given that publicly available records clearly show the sugar shipment at issue in the claim was purchased by and delivered to another company not affiliated in any way with ASR Group or the Fanjul family.”
The Fanjul’s added, “Had the lawyers conducted the slightest diligence, as required by ethical and federal court rules, they would have known their allegation that ASR Group purchased sugar from Cuba was false. The Fanjul family, like many Cuban Americans, lost everything as a result of the Castro regime. To falsely accuse the Fanjul family or any of our affiliated companies of violating the embargo with Cuba is offensive, even more so coming from fellow Cubans.”
In reviewing public records and of an official Peruvian government customs declaration, of the alleged shipment of sugar in question, the actual shipment was sent to Peru, not the United Kingdom.
According to official United Kingdom government documents, the UK has not received sugar shipments from Cuba in 2016, the year that the lawsuit claims the U.S. embargo to Cuba was violated by the sugar giant.
The Fanjuls contend that because the lawsuit has not been dismissed after they furnished the petitioner the documents proving the actual destination of the sugar shipment, that the suit was solely aimed to tarnish the Fanjul name, and for nothing more.
"We provided the lawyers with public records demonstrating that ASR Group did not make the purchase of Cuban sugar they cite a week ago, and they have not dismissed the complaint, leading us to believe that their conduct is malicious and aimed only at tarnishing the reputation of ASR Group and the Fanjul family," concluded the statement.