Justice Rejects $ 700 Million Loan Guarantee Reports For Personal Businesses | News, Sports, Jobs


FILE – On this Wednesday, Jan.8, 2020, file photo, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice delivers his annual State of the State Address to Chambers in the State Capital, Charleston, Virginia ( AP Photo / File)

CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice said on Tuesday he had not read reports claiming he personally guaranteed nearly $ 700 million for a loan to his business in the second year of his first term as as governor, claiming that he “not to pay the slightest attention to it.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Justice granted Greensill Capital the $ 700 million loan guarantee for loans taken out for Bluestone Resources Inc. in 2018.

Speaking during his coronavirus briefing on Tuesday at the State Capitol, Justice said he had not read the article but had been made aware of its existence and contents.

“Yes, I have personally guaranteed the loans, the loans have always been personally guaranteed” says justice. “We’re not going to let Greensill cope with bad things.”

Greensill, which went bankrupt last year, had sold the Bluestone loans and other loans to Credit Suisse Group investment funds. Packaged as “Supply chain finance fund”, Greensill and Credit Suisse have funded $ 10 billion in such loans.

In March, Credit Suisse froze all funds and is working with Bluestone and other borrowers to return the borrowed money. Bluestone was one of Greensill’s three biggest borrowers, according to the Wall Street Journal. In court documents filed in March against Greensill, lawyers for Bluestone said the company is not expected to start repaying the loans until 2023.

“If you knew all the details… you would know that obviously Greensill is a bad, bad actor”, says justice. “Almost in partnership with that, you have the people at Credit Suisse who were hip-related with Greensill and we didn’t know anything at all.”

Greensill filed for bankruptcy in March after losing coverage from credit insurers supposed to protect company liability against the risky business of supply chain finance, a sort of payday loan aimed at businesses. According to the Wall Street Journal report, Justice and his wife Cathy Justice have guaranteed Bluestone’s loans to Greensill for unlimited amounts while Jay Justice, Bluestone CEO while Justice serves as governor, has granted several limited loan guarantees. . The funding, from 2018, covered a period of three years.

“From the point of view of what Greensill did and what they’re doing, how the hell could we have known anything?” It is very unfortunate for our companies and we will have to get out of it ”, says justice.

Bluestone includes Justice’s coal and agricultural operations. The company mainly produces metallurgical coal which is used in the manufacture of steel. Justice said the loans were needed to help pay off debts and obligations when Bluestone bought several mines and processing facilities from Russian coal producer OAO Mechel in 2015.

“We absolutely took over and rebuilt Bluestone, and Greensill lent,” says justice. “It’s absolutely a mess, of course, and a burden on our family beyond belief.”

Bluestone is one of 112 companies owned by Justice according to its 2021 financial disclosure report with the West Virginia Ethics Commission. Only seven of these companies were placed in blind trusts as of April 30, 2017, shortly after the court took office. Blind trusts are used by elected officials to entrust their affairs to third parties while avoiding possible conflicts of interest.

Justice has handed control of his private businesses to Jay, who runs the coal and farming businesses, and his daughter Jill, who runs the Greenbrier Resort. But justice has long been accused of always being active in the day-to-day management of its businesses.

“I know some people will probably rejoice in the agony of what our businesses will have to go through and everything to get through it all, but our businesses are good and they’ve done the right thing,” says justice. “It’s very unfortunate and it’s really painful. That’s all we can say about it. “

Justice has been a party to numerous lawsuits over the years by sellers demanding payment or broken contracts. The federal government also sued for non-payment of fines and penalties, resulting in settlement agreements. Once the state’s sole billionaire, Forbes magazine now lists Justice’s net worth at $ 450 million, demoted after Greensill’s bankruptcy.

A request for comment from Justice lawyers in the Greensill case was not returned.

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