Dr. John Manchin II has gone to court to force his brothers, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Rock Manchin, to repay $1.7 million he loaned them to plump up the family’s failing business nearly 20 years ago.
John Manchin also is asking the court to give him the one-third interest in other family assets he says his brothers promised him, plus interest and costs.
John Manchin said the family business, Manchin Carpet Center, became insolvent in the late 1980s, and his brothers turned to him for the $1.7 million needed to satisfy loan guarantees and cover its debts. John Manchin, an osteopathic doctor practicing in Fairmont, said he considered himself a partner in that business as well.
He said he also provided seed money for another family business, Manchin Brothers.
John Manchin said his brothers, Joe and Rock, reorganized the businesses, dissolving Manchin Carpet Center and Manchin Brothers without his knowledge. John Manchin said his brothers used the assets to form other business ventures that left him out: Rock Manchin incorporated as Wholesale Carpet Outlet Inc. in January 1991 and Joe Manchin formed Manchin Enterprises, owned and controlled by the senator and his son, Joseph IV, to acquire coal reserves and coal brokerage businesses.
John Manchin says over the years his brothers had repeatedly promised to repay him but never repaid the debt, despite a July 2012 fund sharing agreement promising John Manchin the first $1 million in profits if one of their ventures pans out.
Manchin has accused his brothers of violating the terms of their partnership, unjust enrichment, fraud, breach of contract and conspiracy.
The suit was filed earlier this week in Marion County Circuit Court.