CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Freedom Industries, the company that fouled thousands of West Virginians' water with a chemical leak into the Elk River last week, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday.
Freedom owes $3.6 million to its top 20 unsecured creditors, according to bankruptcy documents. The company also owes more than $2.4 million in unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, and the IRS has placed at least three liens on Freedom's property, demanding payment.
The unpaid taxes date back to at least 2000, according to a lien filed in 2010.
Under the bankruptcy code, Chapter 11 permits a company to reorganize and continue operating.
The filing also puts a hold on all of the lawsuits filed against Freedom Industries. Since the leak last week, about a mile and a half upriver from West Virginia Water American's plant in Charleston, about 25 lawsuits have been filed against Freedom in Kanawha Circuit Court. The company also faces a federal lawsuit.
I saw Chris Hayes report on this Friday. Freedom Industries files for bankruptcy, Clifford Forrest files and incorporates a brand new company the same day and then buys Freedom Industries totally liability free. How is this legal?
They sure have made it impossible for the average citizen to shift money or transfer assets within a certain time frame before filing for bankruptcy protecting their money - yet this crook can destroy a whole water supply and skirt ever single lawsuit filed and it's all fine.