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Bank: Candidate Tom Graves trying to evade $2.25M debt
A North Georgia bank is accusing congressional candidate Tom Graves of attempted fraud for trying to evade a $2.25 million debt.
The complaint, filed in court May 17 by Bartow County Bank, names Graves, a former state legislator from Gordon County; his business partner, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers; and their companies, Tich Hospitality LLC and Tich Properties LLC.
Graves and Rogers co-signed a $2.25 million promissory note in January 2009 that is currently in default, the bank said. The complaint seeks punitive damages because Graves transferred his home and other property into a revocable living trust, allegedly “with the intent to defraud Lender in the collection of the obligations owed.”
The quitclaim deed transferring the properties was filed at the Gordon County Courthouse in June 2009, at which time Graves was insolvent, the bank alleged.
The document gave the trust ownership of:
- Graves’ $272,000 home, built in 2003, on a five-acre parcel tract in Ranger
- a nearby $49,000 home, built in 1949, on three acres
- 111 acres of farmland valued by tax assessors at $336,000
Graves’ latest personal financial disclosure, filed in April, listed all three properties in his name and made no mention of the trust.
Lori Geary at WSB-TV broke the story Thursday night.
Graves faces former state Sen. Lee Hawkins in a June 8 runoff. One of them will replace Nathan Deal representing Georgia’s 9th District.