Last summer, Kevin Dean was riding in style.

The serial entrepreneur of Auburn and his wife had purchased a burly 825-horsepower Ford Mustang from the North Carolina garage of NASCAR star Richard Petty. Dean would return for a truck to match, he said.

He had sold off old investments to line up promising new bets on medical and retail marijuana in Maine and Oregon. But one thing was different from past ventures: his partner.

As the Deans rolled back toward Maine, Kevin Dean’s business life was unwinding. His longtime partner Emile Clavet wanted a “business divorce.” In July, Clavet hired consultants to help split up a business empire of more than 15 companies that had touched at least a quarter of Maine households.

The duo is known for co-founding and, in 2016, selling the power supplier Electricity Maine, which entered the market promising lower electricity prices but charged its residential customers in Maine $58 million more than the going rate from 2012 to 2016. As of January, Dean and Clavet owned businesses in mental health counseling, real estate and urine testing for opioid treatment programs.

In November 2017, Clavet sued Dean, alleging he was “cheated” out of a $7.9 million real estate deal. Dean has countersued.

The battle reveals more than a messy business breakup.

Court and property records show Dean and companies he’s managed with Clavet

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