Curtis Tate Published

Indiana Bank Sues Justice-Owned Coal Company, Seeks $4.5 Million

Gray haired man sits at a podium with two more men out of focus behind him.
Gov. Jim Justice delivering his eighth and final State of the State Adress to a joint session of the West Virginia Legislature.
Perry Bennett/WV Legislative Photography

An Indiana bank that’s a creditor of Bluestone Resources, a coal company owned by the family of Gov. Jim Justice, has sued Bluestone in federal court for breach of contract.

1st Source Bank, of South Bend, Indiana, filed a complaint this week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. 1st Source seeks $4.5 million in damages.

The complaint accuses Bluestone of defaulting on loan agreements and also seeks attorney’s fees and possession of collateral.

According to the complaint, that collateral consists of “equipment owned by Bluestone Coal” and three properties that are part of the Wintergreen Ski Resort near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bluestone, based in Roanoke, Virginia, was ordered by a federal judge last month to surrender a helicopter to partially settle a $13 million debt owed to another creditor, Caroleng Investments.

Court filings revealed Caroleng to be an offshore shell company incorporated in the Caribbean tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.

1st Source had also claimed a senior interest in the Bell Textron Canada helicopter. Caroleng and 1st Source reached an agreement last month for the sale of the helicopter. The judge must still approve the sale.

Justice, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, faces new questions about his businesses and numerous lawsuits seeking repayment of what his companies owe creditors.