SC City alleges Carolina Panthers owner-backed RE Group committed fraud in connection with team headquarters deal

Main Street in Rock Hill, South Carolina

The case of the failed siege of the Carolina Panthers and the mixed-use resort in Rock Hill, South Carolina, took on an uglier turn.

When GT Real Estate Holdings, the David Tepper-owned company responsible for building the Rock Hill complex for the Tepper-owned Carolina Panthers, pulled the plug on the project earlier this year, he blamed the failure of the City of Rock Hill to fund needed infrastructure improvements. On Wednesday, the city filed a contradictory lawsuit in GTRE’s bankruptcy filing, claiming that GTRE had committed fraud by soliciting and accepting city bond financing without providing the necessary information or financing for Rock Hill to sell. the necessary obligations, WCNC Charlotte Reports.

GTRE and Rock Hill began negotiating public funding in 2019 to support a Panthers-anchored development district that was originally slated to include a hospital complex, hotel and other buildings totaling nearly 4 million square feet, the lawsuit says. Rock Hill. The city claims that from then on it constantly told GTRE that it was unlikely it would be able to issue enough bonds to satisfy GTRE’s plans unless GTRE disclosed. details, speed up construction or invest more of its own capital.

Construction on the complex began in 2020, and GTRE has spent more than $170 million by the time it halted construction in March and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in Delaware. A separate company owned by Tepper, but also independent of the entity that owns the Panthers, has offered to pay $82 million to reimburse suppliers, creditors, York County (which paid $21 million for building improvements separate infrastructure) and Rock Hill, Axios Charlotte Reports.

The city had previously paid $20 million into a fund controlled by GTRE, but the current arrangement proposed by GTRE puts Rock Hill essentially last to be repaid, Axios reports. The city’s adversary case requires a jury trial, reimbursement of the $20 million and assessment of additional damages resulting from the alleged fraud before accepting a bankruptcy restructuring plan.

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