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Justice: ‘Stay out of my family’s personal stuff’

Justice

CHARLESTON — Questions about a new tax lien, this time against the Greenbrier Resort, caused Gov. Jim Justice to take a swipe at the media Tuesday.

“If you’ll tend to the business of the state as I’m tending to the business of the state and you’ll just stay out of my family’s personal stuff, you’ll find that the final outcomes will be exactly what I’ve told you they’ll be,” Justice said Tuesday during his COVID-19 briefing. “They’ll be worked out.”

According to documents obtained from the Greenbrier County Clerk’s Office, the IRS filed a notice of federal tax lien on June 11 against the Justice-owned Greenbrier Hotel Corp. for $395,722 for the first quarter of the 2018 tax period.

The lien was due to the Greenbrier Resort not remitting payroll taxes for its employees to the federal government. Despite the lien, Justice said the Greenbrier Resort is doing just fine financially.

“From the standpoint of the Greenbrier and the folks at the Greenbrier, we’ve got nearly 2,000 employees there,” Justice said. “Those folks are doing great and the amount of the business that’s going on there …it is doing well.”

The news comes after several weeks of bad news for Justice and his adult children who manage his business empire while he serves his second term as governor.

West Virginia MetroNews reported last week that Virginia-based Carter Bank and Trust filed a court case seeking more than $58 million from defaulted loans made to two Justice-owned companies – the Greenbrier Sporting Club Inc., and the Oakhurst Club LLC.

The West Virginia Record also reported that Jill Justice, the governor’s daughter and in charge of operating the Greenbrier Resort, has more than $8 million in tax liens filed against her back in March by the IRS.

“You can continue to run down ratholes and trying to come up with stuff here and there, but at the end of the day I pray that you’ll report the final outcomes,” Justice said.

The Carter suit comes more than a month after Justice, first lady Cathy Justice, and multiple companies owned by the Justice family filed a civil case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against executives of Carter Bank. Justice’s companies have approximately $368 million of outstanding loans with Carter Bank, all guaranteed by Justice himself, his wife and his son Jay, who manages Justice’s coal and agricultural businesses.

Back in June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Justice – along with the Cathy Justice and Jay Justice – guaranteed more than $700 million in loan guarantee taken out for Bluestone Resources Inc. in 2018 to Greensill Capital. Bluestone is the umbrella for Justice’s coal and agricultural interests.

The now-defunct Greensill had sold the Bluestone loans and other loans to Credit Suisse Group’s investment funds. Credit Suisse is working with the Justice-owned company on repayment, but Bluestone filed suit against Greensill in March. According to the Wall Street Journal, Justice company officials and Credit Suisse met face-to-face recently to discuss how to repay the massive debt.

“We’re in this situation because primarily a bank that turned around and went bankrupt,” Justice said. “They were a very, very bad actor of which we had no knowledge of in any way you can possibly have. From all of that, there have been other things that happened along the way that will get worked out just like they have done in the past.”

(Adams can be contacted at sadams@newsandsentinel.com)

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