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by Joedy McCreary
(June 26) The West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs has filed lawsuits against two companies in Upshur and Braxton counties that allegedly owe the state nearly $434,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties.
Global Coal Inc. in Upshur County and Roger A. Greene, whose Greene Contractors business is located in Braxton County, were named Thursday in injunction lawsuits filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Officials for both Global Coal and Greene Contractors could not immediately be reached for comment. The injunctions call for the businesses to close.
The director of the BEP's legal services division, Gene Dickinson, said lawsuits are the best way to get businesses to make payments.
"We are establishing one of the tools available to force collection of payments," Dickinson said.
Their accounts with the BEP's workers' compensation and unemployment compensation divisions are in default, according to a BEP statement issued Thursday.
The BEP has established a policy of a maximum of five lawsuits a week, Dickinson said.
"That's not only to get rid of people who habitually miss their payments," Dickinson said, "but also to say 'This can happen to you, too.'"
Global Coal owes $292,696 to the Workers' Compensation Fund and $7,339 to unemployment compensation, the BEP alleges.
And, the department claims, Greene owes $85,359 to workers' compensation and $48,336 to unemployment compensation.
No preliminary hearing dates have been announced yet, Dickinson said.
He expects the Kanawha County Circuit Court to hear the cases within two weeks.
These injunctions are designed to even the playing field between the "cheaters" and those businesses who make their payments promptly, Dickinson said.