We were first introduced to Eric Brauss in December 2009, when a good Friend of Unfair Park tipped us off that the money man behind, oh, the Dallas Design Center, Denton Towne Crossing, Lake Highlands Plaza and other local developments had done disappeared. As in: skipped town, left the country, hightailed it to ... oh, let's say Brazil. Why? Well, because in November of that year, seven locals and one German investor filed a suit in state court claiming he owed 'em $6.028 million. Which was but the beginning of his problems.
At the time, his attorney, Larry Friedman, said it was nothing: "The plaintiffs cannot support the allegations in that lawsuit." But Brauss never came back. And, now, this: United States v. Eric Brauss, a federal jury indictment out of Sherman, which you can read in full on the other side. Long story short: The feds allege that in '07 and '08, Brauss defrauded investors out of more than $2 million in an Albuquerque retail development and close to $6 million in something called Parkwood Crossing in Fort Worth.
The indictment contains excerpts from memos and letters Brauss sent to investors telling them: All's well. Only, it wasn't: The feds say that Brauss diverted the money elsewhere -- though where, precisely, it does not say. Only: "expenditures unrelated."
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