Bank: An ‘insolvent’ Tom Graves & Co. owes $2.25 million

You’ll read more of this later in the AJC, but the Bartow County Bank has filed notice in Gordon County Superior Court that former state lawmaker Tom Graves, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and their company owe $2.25 million for cash loaned to purchase a motel in Calhoun.

See some of the paperwork here.

Graves is the leading candidate in the 9th District congressional race, headed toward a June 8 runoff with former state senator Lee Hawkins of Gainesville. Both are Republican.

The complaint was filed May 17 against Graves, Rogers and Tich Hospitality.

In the court papers, the bank says Graves guaranteed repayment, even though he was “insolvent in that his liabilities exceeded his assets and he was unable to pay his obligations as they matured.”

The bank also claims Graves initiated a “fraudulent transfer” of property in order to frustrate the bank’s efforts to pursue the debt.

Lori Geary at WSB-TV reported talking to Rogers by phone. (Here’s a link to the video.) The Senate majority leader said he had already severed ties with the company

Said the Graves campaign:

“The litigation involves complicated issues of fact and law. I have filed my own claims against the plaintiff in this lawsuit because I suffered damages as a result of its broken promises to me.

“This country has a judicial system in place where business disputes like this lawsuit can be successfully and fairly resolved, and I am fully confident that a satisfactory resolution will be reached once all the facts have come to light.”

Graves accused the Hawkins campaign of spreading word of the lawsuit: “It is unfortunate that my opponent resorts to trying to tear good men down in order to advance his political career.”

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115 comments Add your comment


May 27th, 2010
7:03 pm

Lee Hawkins knows only negative campaigning. He needs to focus on the issues and stop attacking Tom Graves. It is a pathetic attempt from a liberal candidate to hide from his record and to distract the voters.

Tom Southerland

May 27th, 2010
7:11 pm

I am proud to support Tom Graves! He is the only conservative in this race. I have early voted already and see right through these dirty tactics from Team-Liberal-Hawkins.


May 27th, 2010
7:34 pm

You support a candidate that has all these lawsuits pending? You guys must like it the way it is…crooks in office now, you might as well send a crook on up there.


May 27th, 2010
7:45 pm

Both guys are losers and professional politicians. Tom Graves is a crook, like a lot or Republicans running for office because they want to line their pockets any way they can.

Chuck Clausen

May 27th, 2010
7:46 pm

Bartow County Banks claims that Tom Graves is insolvent and they Bank claims Loan Fraud – I heard it on Channel 2 – I didn’t hear from Lee Hawkins

No Longer Republican

May 27th, 2010
7:56 pm

Wake up 9th District!! We finally got rid of Nathan Deal and now we are going to elect someone just as crooked? Tom Graves is not change for the better. He is the darling of the tea party activists but people like this will NOT make Congress or our nation better. They are only there to serve themselves and don’t give a damn about anything else. But people hear “Tea Party” and they think it is all well and good. Not sure Hawkins is a whole lot better, but at least he is not being accused of fraud.


May 27th, 2010
8:05 pm

Mr. May running for PSC has some bankruptcy issues. Mr. Johnson running for governor has filing issues. Looks like some people with poor financial decisions are wnating control of a larger purse.


May 27th, 2010
8:20 pm

sounds like guy could not manage his arse


May 27th, 2010
8:29 pm

Why is it people continue to deny the wrongdoings of these politicians? The evidence is there. Sonny Perdue does own property that will make him wealthy, Nathan Deal does have some ethics concerns as approved by a panel composed of both GOP and Dem., Thurbert Baker did not file disclosures for two years as will as a few others. Ray McBerry’s letter to the high school girl is there, he is divorced over it. Tom Graves can’t run his own finances, but yet we gets support from the Tea partiers–the Taxpayers have to bail his ***out. It’s just like people a year ago said Richardson didn’t do it. I mean Larry Walker did get with Perdue about the land deal in Florida. It is there and people just sit and deny it. Know wonder this state is so messed up. Folks- if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck-it is a duck not a duckbill platypus. Everytime some one gets caught it is a conspiracy to ruin a good name-that is BULL S***


May 27th, 2010
8:33 pm

Because of the real estate fiasco many real estate investors,builders and developers are having these kind of problems. It is not uncommon for businessmen to get sued, have failed business ventures, etc. Has anyone seen if Lee Hawkins has been sued for malpractice by any of his patients or had any complaints against him? Making a failed business investment doesnt mean one is a crook, just like being sued by a patient makes you a bad doctor. I mean we have a secretary of the Treasury that owed our own government hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and only payed up because he ran for office. We are hearing about character attacks because the the opponent is not focusing on the issues. It amazes me how bad people want to win so badthat they will leak things to the media to create a sensation. Personally i have gone through a lot of things financially, due to the poor economy. It does not mean i am not honest or wouldnt work hard for the people

Homer Simpson could see through this...

May 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

This lawsuit was filed on May 12th, according to the documents. The day AFTER Hawkins knew how serious a threat Graves was to his campaign. Wonder how much Hawkins had to pay to get this suit filed?

South Park counselor

May 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

Lee Hawkins is bad, m’kay.

The General

May 27th, 2010
8:39 pm

When a politician is tremendously in debt, the opportunity for malfeasance is great. This is true no matter the reason for the indebtedness.


May 27th, 2010
8:47 pm

Earlier today, I received a very poorly recorded phone message recorded by John Linder on behalf of Lee Hawkins. The message criticized Graves for claiming to have been with Linder on the Fair Tax road show. Linder stated that it was not true, that he didn’t know why Graves would say such a thing. An hour or so later, I received a second message, this time from Graves, who said Linder had been misinformed and listed out specific names, dates and locations of at least one time when he was with Linder, Cain and Boortz.
Whatever–I’m already sick of both of these clowns fighting over toys in a sandbox. Neither has my confidence. I voted for Cates a few weeks ago because I heard several of his radio ads when he talked about his vision, his goals, his reasons for getting involved. At no time did he denigrate other candidates. He was very positive as to why you should vote for him.
I don’t know if Cates is still running in the primary, if so he has my vote and my voice. And my check.


May 27th, 2010
9:03 pm

Lee Hawkins and his Hall County Herd are all Democrats, we know it, Georgians know it.

Lee, take your liberal message somewhere else.

We’ve had enough or this crap.


May 27th, 2010
9:31 pm

Hmm, let me see here. The choices are between an established businessman with local support vs. a person who’s accused of fraudulently transferring assets to a family trust in an attempt to deceive a federal institution. Appears to be a pretty simple decision.


May 27th, 2010
9:45 pm

Um, no. The choices here are between a liberal do nothing senator and a proven conservative leader.

We don’t need Lee Hawkins any more.


May 27th, 2010
9:52 pm

Ummmmm, maybe some of you haven’t noticed that Lee Hawkins didn’t write this? This is an AJC article and it was also on WSBtv. Is Lee Hawkins so powerful that he controls the media? I’m a little tired of every time something bad comes out about Tom Graves, he doesn’t really address it or deny it, he just whines about Hawkins being “mean to him”. Hawkins can’t make a story like this up. It’s a lawsuit, for Pete’s sake. And obviously Graves owes some people some money. How is that Hawkins fault? The last thing we need in Washington is yet another guy who can’t manage debt. I can’t believe how some of you seem willing to excuse it all just because the guy is young and (sorta) good looking. It’s Obama all over again. “We don’t care that he’s got no experience and he’s a crook! Send him anyway!” WAKE UP PEOPLE!! Hawkins is getting my vote.

Ned Puddleman

May 27th, 2010
9:56 pm

Neither one of them should be sent to Washington. I’ve had enough of this crap. Is there nobody honest left?

Independent Voter

May 27th, 2010
10:03 pm

Bad republicans in every district! Dist 4 has their own version, just look at the FEC filings. In Georiga, an LLC can not be a non-profit, yet to run for congress your campaign contribution company must be a non-profit… Cory Ruths FEC filings, printed materials and donation page show a “Paid for by Cory Ruth for Congress, LLC.”… Looks like he thinks it’s okay to be “for-profit” with campaign contributions. Wonder if that LLC paid taxes on its contributions? Did deeper on Cory and you’ll find even more.

Its me Glynn

May 27th, 2010
10:11 pm

funny as hell…hip hip for the moral and righteously right GOP


May 27th, 2010
10:20 pm

A tea party crook…. The dude was part of a company that went belly up and as a state senator, we’re to believe that he wasn’t in on the decisionmaking.


May 27th, 2010
10:24 pm

Lee Hawkins has never said anything positive about himself or why he is running for Congress.

All he does is lie, cheat, and smear others. I’m sick of it, might not even vote at this point.

If it weren’t for Tom Graves countering Lee’s lies with the facts, I’d stay home. But I won’t, and I’m telling everyone I know to vote for the one standing with Truth…Tom Graves!


May 27th, 2010
10:27 pm

Lot of highminded talk on here about the need for integrity in business, stuff outside of politics, etc…

Kind of sad to me, personally.


May 27th, 2010
10:34 pm

Tom Graves will win this, and he has big shoes to fill. Nathan Deal did a great job in the district, and will be a great Governor.

North Georgia Voter

May 27th, 2010
10:45 pm

This guy is unethical if this is true.

How could ANYONE who owes $2.5 million dollars choose instead to spend a year advancing their political career rather than getting a job to start paying it back?

The investors to that bank are real people — and they trusted him. He’s apparently taken their money and won’t pay it back, and instead is running to advance his political career.


Just kind of …sick.

Josh Jones

May 27th, 2010
10:48 pm

It should be noted that the comment above, written by “Josh Jones,” was not written or authorized by the same Josh Jones that is working with the Lee Hawkins Congressional Campaign. The comment, as it appears, is another attack by Tom Graves’ supporters to discredit the facts. I believe voters will reject these malicious attempts by Tom Graves’ supporters on June 08.

A true Christian

May 27th, 2010
10:50 pm

How can people that claim to be “Christians” support a man who consistently lies, has been sued multiple times, now BY THE FREAKING BANK, and still smile at me in church on Sunday? If you support Tom Graves you ARE AN IGNORANT CHRISTIAN – get out of my church! Do your homework and do not enable this CRIMINAL to get to Washington. AND stop trying to say that Lee Hawkins is running the negative campaign, you idiots, he has to defend himself like any normal person would. Get a grip and a brain – seriously.


May 27th, 2010
10:54 pm

Graves is a weak candidate who will hurt the party and the conservative movement nationally if he wins. He is an embarashment to the Tea Party people who honsetly support him and the National PAC’s who have wasted thousands and in the case of one group hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting him. He has betrayed a lot of people and more will come out very soon.

Kool-Aid Anyone?

May 27th, 2010
10:55 pm

I cannot believe you Graves supporters. A bunch of crybabies you are. Tom Graves goes and gets himself sued and your mad at Lee Hawkins? The more I think about it, you sound like those freakin dems whining that it is my fault because they spent all their money and can’t afford to pay the bills.

You Graves people just keep on sipping the kool-aid. Just quit whining about Lee when it’s your boy that cannot keep himself outta trouble. Graves is a liar and a crook and you can’t see the truth. Sad…I thought we had enough of that crap in Washington already and you Tea Partiers want to send this guy?

Great way to show you mean business!


May 27th, 2010
10:57 pm

d2, you are so right. Voters like GAVoter and TeaPartyMom just have their heads in the sand when it comes to these professional politicians. It seems we like to have crooks in office in this state. Otherwise, why would we have the likes of Perdue, Deal, Oxendine, Graves, and Cagle. If a politician claims to be ultra conservative and says Jesus loudly enough, we’ll vote for him. No wonder our state is in worse shape than almost any other states in the country. God help us.


May 27th, 2010
10:57 pm

Being that Chip Rogers is of the Christian branch that has gleefully taken a dump on the public school children of Cherokee County, none of this surprises me.

Alabama Communist

May 27th, 2010
11:01 pm

Just In! The United States Government was sue today by the Goldman Sachs Bank In the court papers, the bank says the USA guaranteed repayment, even though it was “insolvent in that it’s liabilities exceeded its assets and it was unable to pay it’s obligations as they matured to the Chinese Peoples Government.”

Gee! So a bunch of Republicans investors are just like their government!

I have eyes and ears - and I use them!

May 27th, 2010
11:12 pm

Check out Channel 2, crazies. How many different sources and different people in the MEDIA and community need to say TOM GRAVES IS A FRAUD for you to GET IT!!! This is not being created or carfted by the Hawkins Campaign. You guys deserve to have a crook in Congress. I hope you get him elected and you have to deal with it. HA! I’m moving.

Gary Cooper

May 27th, 2010
11:13 pm

Ok all you Hawkins supporters please tell me what Tom Graves has lied about???? As far as business deals go, people get sued all the time by banks because they can’t pay the bills. This process has just started and why don’t we wait until it is resolved before we start claiming allegations to be facts.

Also please remember that Lee Hawkins is a career politician too. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be pulling out the negative card to win an election for congress. He would win it on principles and his views on the issues, which to be honest a lot of voters don’t really know because all we have seen from his campaign are attacks on Graves.

The real Josh Jones – if Hawkins is going to beat Graves, he has some work to do and as a voter in Forsyth County, were he lost by a 2-1 margin, we need to know more about him and his positions and less about attacks on Tom Graves. In other words, give the voters a reason to vote for Lee Hawkins. And if he was a true conservative then he, his campaign, and his supporters need to quit attacking the Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates conservative reforms on fiscal issues.

And back to the lies comment. Lee Hawkins or his campaign are lying as well. Tonight voters in the 9th were treated to a robo-call from John Linder claiming that Tom Graves was lying about supporting the Fair Tax and that he never traveled the country in support of it. Well there are videos and an event agenda out there showing that Linder spoke at an event last summer just after Mr. Graves left the stage. Some of you Hawkins supporters go see the video and tell me how that call we received this evening was anything but dishonest?

Grow a brain, Gary Cooper!

May 27th, 2010
11:18 pm

Gary – Can you hear? Maybe you should get a new hearing-aid, dear. Graves claims he traveled the country with John Linder to sell the fairtax. John Linder caught wind of this and approached Graves about it – they had never even met before. Graves said his story was “Good enough for him.” He was fine with lying, just like he’s fine with running a corrupt business and lying about everything Lee Hawkins does.

Joyce M.

May 27th, 2010
11:19 pm

Lee Hawkins has chased Tom Graves for years. From the time he tried to take create for the JOBS bill, to the way he hated Graves’ and his 216 group at the Capitol. Graves is a leader and Hawkins knows he’s always been the guy standing between Hawkins and Washington DC.

Go Tom Graves! You have the prayers and support of the grassroots. June 8th can’t come soon enough.

Independent Voter

May 27th, 2010
11:20 pm

Graves, Oxendine, Ruth, Deal…. what do they have in common? Republican, Crooks, Dirt Bags.

What part of criminal don't you understand?

May 27th, 2010
11:30 pm

Tom Graves is a C-R-I-M-I-N-A-L. I don’t care how much you pray or pretend this guy is good, the only thing he needs to be leading are prison meetings. Obviously, Graves is broke and he wants to use my tax dollars to support his corrupt business with that guy Chip. At least Hawkins is an established businessman who has been running a business almost as long as Graves has been alive.

There's an Alternative

May 27th, 2010
11:37 pm

Tom Graves needs a bailout, so he’s running for Congress. He can’t manage his own business, so why should the people of the 9th trust Graves to run theirs? Hell, go ahead and send Graves to Washington, he’ll fit right in: spend other people’s money and not pay it back.

There are two viable alternatives, Steve Tarvin and Chris Cates. I don’t know Cates too well, but I know a little about Tarvin, and it sounds like he is everything Graves wants to be and isn’t. A lifelong North GA resident, long term businessman, and a non – politico. Maybe we should look at these guys.

Gary Cooper

May 27th, 2010
11:57 pm

Anonymous names really are getting dull around here. Anyway, I heard what Linder said, but I also saw the video of the event in Missouri where they spoke right after one another. Kind of hard for me to believe that they never met.

It's simple, really.

May 27th, 2010
11:59 pm

It isn’t about whether they met or not. The point is Graves lied and lead everyone to believe he was championing the fair tax along with the author, John Linder. He made it out to us like they were working as a team and he said it several times, this wasn’t a slip-up – there was intent. Just like there was intent to steal the $2.5 million from the bank according to this article.

Gary Cooper

May 28th, 2010
12:29 am

Uh, exactly what did he lie about? He was at a Fair Tax rally with Boortz, Linder, Joe the Plumber, and Hermain Cain championing the Fair Tax. Not sure what else he would be doing the middle of Missouri in June 2009. And I tend to wait until all the facts are out to judge a man based on a bad business deal. One thing this article doesn’t point out is the fact that Graves is counter-suing the bank because he claims they are not living up to a refinance agreement they made on the loan in question.

Gary Cooper

May 28th, 2010
12:31 am

Oh and it does matter if they met or not. Linder claims in the call that he has never met Tom Graves. Again, two guys speak at the same Fair Tax event one right after the other and someone don’t have even the smallest of conversations?


May 28th, 2010
1:15 am

Hmmm…according to the documents, this happened some time ago. This happened before Graves’ opponent could have done anything to create it and it isn’t this first allegation of this sort, right? This is fishy and Channel 2 thinks so too. As a finance guy, I know it’s a pretty big deal to get a bank to do this sort of thing. This is serious and people need to understand you do not want someone that is guilty of this in Congress. Maybe this guy is running for this seat for the opportunity to cover this up? Use his power in Congress to cover it up?

Bobby Anthony

May 28th, 2010
1:24 am

Do any of you think Christ is on one side or the other in this election. He loves both candidates as well as the people who submit comments here. D2 you make a lot of sense. Why can’t we we work for the good of all humans instead of tearing each other apart.

Just Jane

May 28th, 2010
5:47 am

OK people, let’s do a short course in learning about our candidates. It matters not to which party they belong nor what one issue the media picks up and shares with readers. It DOES matter from whom these people received campaign contributions, what ties to the community they have (not just the public), what their voting records are, and how much time they spent with lobbyists. All of these facts can be discoverd by research. Voting is not only a right, but a responsibility. It’s my hope that people would exercise this right more responsibly.

Saul Good

May 28th, 2010
6:15 am

Didn’t any of you republicans learn ANYTHING from putting Bush into office? I mean he too was someone who had business after business fail (even with Daddy helping him land job after job and line up Saudi investors for his own businesses that he sank into the ground). What happened when he was given job as President? He sank our whole nation just as he did every business he started. It’s quite clear that Graves too is lousy as business, and seems to me his involved in fraud as well (by his transfer of assets)… But the right will STILL vote for him…and in fact blame his whole fiasco he’s in right now on Obama. It’s the Talibangelical way to do so… never admit when one’s wrong, and always blame someone else even when all facts show otherwise.


May 28th, 2010
6:32 am

Dont EVER vote for another democrackkk, nowhere, no time…we MUST eradicate these VILE
anti Americans who has tried to RUIN Amerikkka!

STRIVE to be SMARTER than the ORIGINAL ‘party’ of SLAVERY wants you to BE!

Who Cares

May 28th, 2010
7:07 am

If the AJC runs an article attacking Graves, then he must be the man. I voted for him, and have cast my absentee ballot for him in the runoff. Same goes for Ray McBerry.