A Georgia brewery won a $307,458 default judgment this week against a former Canton manufacturer of brewing equipment.

Floyd County Superior Court Judge J. Bryant Durham Jr. awarded $55,248 in general damages and $250,000 in punitive damages, along with attorney fees and costs, to Rome City Brewing Co. in Rome, Ga., on Thursday.

The brewery filed a breach of contract and fraud suit in late September in Georgia against SysTech Stainless Works and owners Jason and Amanda Spurrell, who didn’t respond to the lawsuit.

SysTech, which went out of business last year, is facing accusations and lawsuits from craft breweries around the country that it provided defective equipment or delivered no equipment at all after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in deposits. Some breweries also said they received equipment made in China when SysTech had promised American-made products.

The FBI is investigating the accusations.

Rome City had placed a $55,248 deposit with SysTech in May 2017 for a 10-barrel brewing system and other equipment. The entire contract was worth $110,496.

But the company never delivered the equipment and would not refund the deposit, the lawsuit says.

Rome City co-owner Trent Prault said he received a call from Jason Spurrell in September saying SysTech had no money or inventory and couldn’t fill the order. The company then went out of business.

Prault said he’s pleased with the judgment.

“I don’t know that we’re going to get any money out of this guy but he can’t do this to anybody else,” he said. “[The judgement is] going to follow him around forever.”

Canton attorney Gerald Baker, who has worked with SysTech, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The lawsuit claims the Spurrells “operated a Ponzi scheme whereby money from custom orders was used toward fulfilling older orders to give the appearance of solvency. All along, defendants Jason and Amanda Spurrell diverted funds in order to pay themselves handsomely, and also diverted funds to their other business ventures.”

When new orders slowed, “the scheme collapsed,” the lawsuit says.

Rome City’s attorney Lee Niedrach of McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe LLP in Rome said the Spurrells continued to take deposits knowing they wouldn’t be able to deliver the equipment.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.