Gov. Justice: Internal Review at state WDA reveals that landlord of Charleston office building missed 79 loan payments totaling more than $1.5 million
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that an investigation is underway concerning more than $1.5 million in loan payments to the West Virginia Water Development Authority that have been missed by the landlord of the office building that houses Ticketmaster in the Northgate Business Park.
An internal review, completed by WVWDA Executive Director Marie Prezioso, found that since 1999, Corotoman Inc. of Charleston, and its president John Wellford, have collected monthly rent from Ticketmaster but failed to use the funds to make 79 payments on a $3 million loan from the WVWDA totaling $1.539 million.
On Tuesday the WVWDA board, during a special meeting, explained that Ticketmaster has made all payments to Corotoman, however, Corotoman has failed to use the Ticketmaster funds to make the loan payments to the Water Development Authority. Payments were made in June, July, and August of this year, but prior to that only three payments had been made since October 2012.
In 1999, the WVWDA, on behalf of the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council, loaned $3 million to the Regional Development Authority of Charleston-Kanawha County to finance the purchase of the Ticketmaster building from Corotoman. The RDA has allowed Corotoman and Wellford to act as the landlord of the building since the beginning of the deal, including being responsible for collecting the rent and making all loan payments.
“As soon as I became aware of this problem, I directed my staff to turn over the evidence to the State Police, and to begin working with the appropriate parties to recover the lost payments,” Gov. Justice said.
“I want to make sure the over 300 employees at Ticketmaster are unaffected. I really appreciate the work of WVWDA Executive Director Marie Prezioso for discovering this issue through her internal review.”
The Governor has also directed the Water Development Authority to immediately undertake a review of all outstanding loans.