by: Jodie Fleischer Updated:
Channel 2 Action News has learned Bishop Eddie Long has agreed to a new court settlement that will cost him nearly $2 million. It stems from a bank loan on which Long defaulted after purchasing a basketball gym in Clayton County.
It may have seemed like a slam-dunk investment back in Aug. 2007, when Long and two business partners bought the Hoops and Fitness gymnasium on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro.
The three formed the West Indies Holding Company and each signed a document borrowing money to purchase the building, which housed three businesses at the time.
Those businesses all told Channel 2 they intended to keep operating and paying their rent despite the lawsuit from State Bank and Trust, which settled earlier this month.
The order said Long and his partners must pay back more than $1.8 million, plus interest, fees and property taxes. One of his partners has since filed bankruptcy.
Just last week, the man who sold Long the gym filed court records, saying Long defaulted on a settlement with him by failing to pay nearly $200,000 owed.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer caught up with Long inside his Bentley outside a Midtown law firm.
Long was scheduled to give a deposition Thursday in an unrelated sexual harassment and discrimination case filed against his church and an employee, but Long never got out of the car.
Long still hasn't spoken publicly about his confidential settlements earlier this year involving five young men who accused him of sexual misconduct.
Two of those men spoke openly with Fleischer in August, jeopardizing the money they received.
Reginald Winfrey, an attorney for West Indies Group and Long, didn't want to comment on the latest settlement, but said they are working to resolve all of the matters in the courtroom.
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