- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

REIDSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An opulent North Carolina estate popular with tourists is at the center of a bankruptcy court battle in which the owner is accused of spending company money for personal reasons.

U.S. Marshal Bill Stafford said Wednesday the Chinqua Penn Plantation was placed under the oversight of a bankruptcy court trustee.

The 1920s mansion and grounds were owned by the state for nearly half a century before tobacco executive Calvin Phelps bought the property in 2006.

But a bankruptcy examiner for three companies that Phelps also owns says in a lawsuit that Phelps took cash for the purchase out of one company. Phelps‘ attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

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