May 28, 2010
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Built in 1978, the [Oglethorpe] Inn is at the heart of a lawsuit Bartow County Bank has filed against 9th District congressional candidate Tom Graves and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers. The bank alleges the two Republicans owe $2.2 million on a loan that is now in default. Graves and Rogers, according to the lawsuit, guaranteed that loan so a company called Tich Hospitality LLC could buy and renovate the inn.
The lawsuit also alleges Graves was “insolvent” in June and that he fraudulently transferred two properties to a trust to frustrate the bank’s efforts to collect on the debt. An attorney for Graves denied the bank’s allegation of fraud, asserting the properties Graves transferred were not used as collateral for the loan. “Any transfers that were made by Mr. Graves were done completely within the confines of the law, consistent with estate planning and with no intent to defraud anyone at any time,” said Simon Bloom, Graves attorney.