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Tough Week For Billionaire Governor Jim Justice As Feds Investigate State Payments To His Greenbrier Hotel
|Last Edited||IndyGeorgia Apr 14, 2019 08:56pm|
|Author||Christopher Helman and Carter Coudriet|
|News Date||Thursday, April 11, 2019 10:15:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is no stranger to legal issues. By Forbes’ recent tally, courts have ordered the coal tycoon to pay more than $10 million in civil judgments just since 2016 and he faces another $60 million in a civil case over coal mine royalties. |
But there’s a big difference between civil suits (such as when a vendor sues a customer for reneging on a contract) and criminal prosecutions—which can get you put in jail. That’s why this week’s revelation that Governor Justice is a subject of a subpoena by the public integrity section of the criminal division of the Department of Justice is potentially a big deal.
A subpoena issued by DOJ attorneys (first revealed Tuesday by the Morgantown, West Virginia-based MetroNews) names Justice and his children, several other employees of Justice family companies, as well as the historic Greenbrier hotel itself—which Justice bought out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $20 million. Also named is a nonprofit entity still owned by Justice and his family called the Old White Charities (after the Greenbrier’s famed golf course).
Investigators specifically sought records of all financial transactions and communications that all these Justice relations and entities have had with the state Department of Commerce from 2014 to today.
It’s important to note that there has been no indictment, and the DOJ, through a spokesman, declined to comment on emailed questions. A Justice representative referred questions to a spokesman for the governor’s office, who did not respond. “I don’t have anything whatsoever to hide,” Justice told reporters this week.
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