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Rice is sole owner of new firm

February 25, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

Thomas D. Rice, a local businessman charged in a Virginia Internet sex case, is the sole owner of the consulting company to which he said Wednesday he had been appointed president.

Rice said Thursday he created GTMS Ltd. in 1998 but said the business had been in limbo "for some time."

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"I decided to restructure the company," said Rice on his decision to appoint himself president.

GTMS Ltd. has no affiliation with Rice's previous employers, former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton or Martinsburg developer Moncure Chatfield-Taylor, Rice said.

Rice said his company has a direct contract to arrange commercial financing with a multi-national billion-dollar-plus commercial financing firm and said GTMS has private investors.

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He would not elaborate on what companies have done business with GTMS and would not identify the private investors.

GTMS specializes in commercial development, business management, technology research, political issues and campaign consulting, Rice said.

According to records with the City Of Martinsburg, Rice created GTMS last September using his home address and phone number and listing himself as the owner.

The company is licensed to do business in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia state Tax and Revenue Department.

Rice, a prominent figure in the West Virginia Democratic Party, resigned from his position as Blue Ridge Outlet Center general manager with the Chatfield-Taylor Corp. in Martinsburg Tuesday after he was arrested in an Internet sex sting last weekend in Bedford County, Va.

The Bedford County Sheriff's Office alleges Rice arranged a sexual encounter with an undercover police officer who posed as a 13-year-old boy in Internet and telephone conversations with Rice.

He was charged with two felony counts of attempted indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14 and one felony count of attempted crimes against nature with a child under the age of 14.

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