Whittaker companies sue over Pizzeria Uno loans

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 8, 2006


WINFIELD – A company owned by Jack Whittaker has filed two lawsuits against former business partners over more than $2 million in loans that have mostly been unpaid.

Whittaker LLC of St. Albans filed the lawsuits Wednesday in Putnam Circuit Court. In the suits, Whittaker says it partnered with businessmen in the last few years to open Pizzeria Uno restaurants throughout the state.

The first opened in 2001 in Charleston. Others followed in Clarksburg, Morgantown, Teays Valley and Huntington. But now, all of them have closed.

As recently as April 2005, Whittaker LLC loaned $1.5 million to Absolut-Huntington LLC, a company created to open a Pizzeria Uno at Pullman Square in Huntington. That loan is the basis of one of the two suits filed by Charleston attorney Norm Daniels.

According to the complaint, the $1.5 million was to be paid back in month installments of $12,546.60 beginning in May 2005. But, occasional payments of less than half of that amount were made from July 2005 to November.

The second suit focuses on Absolut Holdings, Absolut-Teays, Absolut-Clarksburg and Absolut-Morgantown. That complaint says those companies didn't pay Whittaker LLC almost $600,000 since February 2005.

In that complaint, Whittaker says a $400,000 loan disbursed between Absolut-Teays, Absolut-Clarksburg and Absolut-Morgantown and a $195,000 loan to Absolut Holdings were to be paid back in monthly installments over 20 years.

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