Governor Jim Justice today confirmed that he is personally responsible for the millions of dollars his family’s coal companies took from a collapsed financial services company.
“Yes, I have personally guaranteed the loans,” Justice said in response to a question from MetroNews during a briefing today.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Personal Liability of Judge in an article titled “West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Personally Responsible for $ 700 Million in Greensill Loans.”
Today’s briefing was the first time the governor has publicly explained how his family’s businesses are affected by the failure of Greensill Capital, which has focused on supply chain finance. The financial services company suddenly announced bankruptcy this spring.
The loans to Justice’s Bluestone Resources were unusual in that they were backed by “potential receivables” that were not yet available from a list of “potential buyers” – “a list that included both existing customers of Bluestone and other entities that were not and may never become customers of Bluestone.
The 2018 loans were guaranteed by Justice and his wife, Cathy, for unlimited amounts, The Journal reported. Bluestone’s chief executive, Governor Jay Justice’s son, guaranteed the loans up to a certain amount, the newspaper reported.
The Journal reported that Greensill packaged such loans and sold them to investment funds managed by financial services firm Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse is now pushing to recover lost investments and has appointed Justice’s Bluestone Resources as one of the top three borrowers from Greensill funds. This amount was $ 850 million.
Justice enterprises, in turn, have continued Greensill – accusing the company of “continuous and lucrative fraud”. The lawsuit notes that the Governor of Justice owns a 60 percent stake in Bluestone Resources. Cathy Justice is also listed as a complainant.
– MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 1, 2021
The governor today acknowledged the stress of the situation but blamed Greensill.
“If you knew all the details, you would know that obviously Greensill is a bad, bad actor,” Justice said.
“And almost in partnership with that, you have the people at Credit Suisse who were hip-related with Greensill that we didn’t know anything about. How the hell could we have known anything. We’ll have to get out of it. ”
Justice said the loan was necessary because Bluestone’s operations deteriorated while it was owned by Russian company Mechel. Justice sold the family’s coal operations to Mechel in May 2009 for $ 568 million, then bought the company in 2015 for $ 5 million.
“We took over and rebuilt them,” Justice said today.
The governor acknowledged conversations with his family about the huge debt.
“I had to review this with my family. What was going on what rebuilding Bluestone. We knew it would take hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Bluestone, ”he said.
“We will continue to pay our obligations and move forward. But this one is a bad, bad, bad actor who got caught. We had no earthly clue. It is terribly unfortunate and it is something our family will have to deal with.
Over the years, Justice has been described as West Virginia’s only billionaire. But Forbes dismissed the governor from his official billionaire list after the $ 850 million debt owed to insolvent Greensill was revealed.
Justice has never placed all of its assets in a blind trust. It produces an annual financial declaration form which includes more than 90 companies. From the start, he said he put Jill in charge of The Greenbrier and Jay in charge of the coal operations.
At the start of his tenure, he produced a letter to officials. He said he would like to pursue a blind trust, but the process had been slowed down by the size of his business portfolio.
“I separated myself from my business by giving my children responsibility for our family’s business operations. Being a governor is a full-time responsibility, ”Justice wrote in his 2017 letter.
“I want to put all my assets in a blind trust; however, the process was slowed down by the multitude of financial institutions that work with my family’s businesses. I will continue to file very detailed ethics reports, just like during the election, which lets everyone know about my family’s businesses and investments.
Today, Justice promised that private debt would not affect his daily work as governor.
“I’m here doing exactly what I do and do every day, and I’m proud to do it. This is what I will continue to do. I will be your governor.