Werner Eric Brauss is long gone. The real estate dealmaker fled the country in 2009 as the market collapsed, leaving behind a pile of unpaid debt to investors and Las Vegas casinos and the feds' hopes of an easy prosecution.
The chance that Brauss will leave the Brazilian coast, where he is believed to be living, and return stateside to face criminal charges and millions in civil judgments seems slim. Slimmer still are the chances that his jilted investors will ever see a dime, which goes some way toward explaining a lawsuit brought this week against two North Texas brothers.
Courthouse News reports that a German investment firm, Triple M GmbH, is suing Daniel and George Kondos for helping Brauss liquidate his assets and flee Dallas with a suitcase full of cash.
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George Kondos is a developer. Daniel Kondos is a trial lawyer who founded the Kondos and Kondos law firm with George's wife.
Among their alleged purchases are Brauss' million-dollar Addison home, completely furnished, plus several luxury cars, art, and jewelry. "Knowing Brauss needed cash to fund his escape," the suit says, they paid with a stack of bills.
Nor did their support end there. They also allegedly helped with Brauss' divorce in Dallas County so he could marry a Brazilian woman, once helping him sneak in and out of the country to finalize the separation.
Neither of the Kondos brothers has been charged with a crime, but Triple M thinks there is enough evidence that they helped commit one for a Dallas County court to require them to cough up some of the money Brauss fled the country with.