Former Blackjewel CEO Asks Court to Block Company Investigation of His Finances
Former Blackjewel, LLC, chief executive officer Jeffrey Hoops, Sr., has asked a judge to block a request to investigate his finances, according to West Virginia U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
The request included 30 related companies, trusts and family members, and it alleged Hoops committed fraud.
Wednesday, Hoops' attorneys responded the requested order is "extraordinarily broad" and would include 62 requests for production of documents and oral examinations on 35 topics, all of which go far beyond any legitimate interest in the debtors' operations.
Hoops and the other entities will file an in-depth response on Jan. 21, his attorneys added.
Last week, attorneys for the Milton, W.Va-based Blackjewel, which owned the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal mines in Campbell County, said the company was “woefully insolvent" by the time it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 1, and Hoops transferred "tens of millions of dollars" for personal gain before then. Among his personal interests was the construction of a resort with a 3,500-seat replica of the Roman Coliseum.
Immediately after the bankruptcy filing, Blackjewel closed the mines and sent the employees home in Campbell County as well as mines and other properties in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky. In October, Eagle Specialty Materials, LLC, completed the purchase of Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte from Contura Energy, Inc., which held the mining licenses.
Hoops responded that Blackjewel's attorneys are on a fishing expedition:
"The Debtors and Creditors Committee do not identify any specific transactions that they seek to investigate or otherwise identify as questionable and base their requests on unsupported general reactions and hyperbole."