Whittaker's partners sued

by John O'Brien |
Nov. 3, 2006, 1:55am


CHARLESTON - Two men who make up Powerball winner Jack Whittaker's Absolut-Huntington company are being sued for more than $1 million.

Poca Valley Bank filed the lawsuit Oct. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Miracle Restaurant Group, Stephen Neu and Bruce Panley.

Whittaker, who won a $315 million jackpot in Dec. 2002, Neu, Panley and David Saul, together as Absolut-Huntington, have been sued three times this year for alleged debts involving the Pizzeria Uno restaurant in Huntington.

Poca Valley Bank says Neu, of Julian, and Panley, of South Charleston, owe $1,181,708.97 after the property they used as collateral was sold for $765,000. The original promissory note was in the amount of $1.9 million.

When Neu and Panley failed to make payments in accordance with the note's conditions, the complaint says, Poca Valley Bank decided they had defaulted on the contract and is seeking the unpaid amount, plus interest.

Miracle Restaurant Group's principal business office is in Clarksburg, according to the lawsuit.

Whittaker's own company, Whittaker LLC, has filed two suits against Absolut-Huntington and Absolut Holdings, Absolut-Teays, Absolut-Clarksburg and Absolut-Morgantown stemming from his involvement with other businessmen in the openings of Pizzeria Unos around the state. Those suits claim there are more than $2 million in unpaid loans.

Judge Irene Berger has been assigned the case against Miracle Restaurant Group.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2213

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