Manchin aide cuts longstanding tie with hotel investor

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 22, 2017

CHARLESTON – Longtime aide to Sen. Joe Manchin Larry Puccio broke a longstanding tie to the main investor in a hotel that was recently named in a lawsuit owing nearly $15 million.

Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed against Mountain Blue Hotel Group. It listed the members of Mountain Blue as William A. Abruzzino; Rebecca A. Abruzzino; Martha Hughes; Martha Hughes as trustee of the William A. Abruzzino and Rebecca A. Abruzzino Generation Skipping Trust; Judy Nunnally; Jaron Smalley; AA Property LLC; Peachtree Village Partners LLC; Rebecca A. Abruzzino as trustee of the Robert A. Abruzzino Irrevocable Trust; and Mark A. Abruzzino.

AA Property is owned by Puccio and Manchin.

William Abruzzino signed the 2013 loan for Mountain Blue.

Puccio broke the financial tie with William Abruzzino this year.

Back in May, William Abruzzino’s name was removed to A&P LLC. He had been listed, along with Puccio, as a manager of the corporation since 2006.

The Mountain Blue lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia by U.S. Bank National Association, notes that Manchin and Puccio are investors in AA, which, in turn, makes them investors of Mountain Blue.

Puccio and Manchin have acknowledged their investment in AA, but have repeatedly said they are not investors in the hotels.

The application to remove William Abruzzino’s name from A&P was filed May 25 in the Secretary of State’s Office. The document lists AA Properties to replace William Abruzzino.

Puccio signed the document.

Abruzzino has been named in other lawsuits this year for similar projects to the hotel. In May, the City of Clarksburg filed a lawsuit, alleging that companies that own the Hilton Garden Inn there owe $41,000 in unpaid business and occupation taxes. The city asked that the hotel be sold to pay off the debt.

Also earlier this year, Tara Retail Group, which owns Elkview Crossings Mall, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. William Abruzzino of Tara Retail Group was listed as the manager and as the authorized representative in the bankruptcy.

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