Virginia bank delays plans to auction land at resort owned by West Virginia governor’s family


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Virginia bank says it will delay plans to auction off land at West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s posh resort in an attempt to recover more than $300 million on defaulted business loans by the governor’s family.

In a filing Friday in Greenbrier County Circuit Court, Carter Bank & Trust of Martinsville, Virginia, said it will reschedule the March 5 auction to a later date, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The bank also asked that a hearing set for Tuesday be postponed on a request by the Greenbrier Sporting Club in White Sulphur Springs for a preliminary injunction against the bank.

Carter Bank published a legal notice in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Feb. 6 announcing the March 5 auction in Lewisburg involving land at the Greenbrier Sporting Club. Carter Bank has said it would “aggressively” pursue $302 million it was owed in principal debt, plus interest and fees, from companies owned by the governor’s family.

In its Friday filing, Carter Bank said it “understands that homeowners within the Greenbrier Sporting Club development are also very interested in this matter and may be considering undertaking action of their own.”

The sporting club is a private equity club and residential community that opened in 2000. Justice bought the resort out of bankruptcy in 2009. He began serving the first of his two terms as governor in 2017.

The sporting club’s Feb. 7 circuit court complaint said the auction would jeopardize thousands of jobs and “severely damage” both the club and the Greenbrier Resort, which has hosted U.S. presidents and royalty and is the county’s largest employer. The complaint also sought a jury trial to address claims by the Justice family against Carter Bank.

On at least four occasions between 2021 and 2023, the Justice companies tried to steer their banking business from Carter Bank to other lenders, who were prepared to pay off all or part of their Carter Bank loans. But Carter Bank “blocked or sabotaged” the transfer efforts, the complaint said.

A federal lawsuit filed by the Justice companies against the bank in November is pending.

Justice, who owns dozens of companies, also has been the subject of numerous court claims that he has been late in paying millions of dollars he owes in fines, such as for unsafe working conditions at his coal mines.

Justice, a Republican, is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Joe Manchin. Manchin has said he is not seeking reelection.

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