One of the many legal challenges stacked against troubled Austin developer Nate Paul will continue into next year.
The World Class Holdings CEO failed to appear despite being subpoenaed to a Travis County court on Dec. 21, in a case related to several properties formerly owned by Paul that were sold via foreclosure auction, the Austin Business Journal reported. The hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 11.
The court aims to determine whether World Class Holdings should pay roughly $1.4 million in legal fees to Karlin Real Estate and Pennybacker Capital after losing a lawsuit pertaining to Paul’s former trophy assets.
The legal battle dates back to a chaotic foreclosure auction in June 2021, centered on the 156-acre former 3M office campus in northwest Austin. World Class Holdings defaulted on a loan on the property in 2019, and Karlin acquired the debt.
Protesters disrupted the June 2021 foreclosure auction, drowning out proceedings, and video from that event played a pivotal role in the judgment against World Class Holdings, the outlet said. Paul denied orchestrating the protest and called the foreclosures “improper.”
Karlin’s lawyer, Jonathan Pelayo of Locke Lord, is seeking about $1 million in fees, and Pennybacker’s lawyer, Joshua Romero of Jackson Walker, is seeking about $380,000.
World Class Holdings has filed for a new trial, and Paul’s absence might be seen as a strategic move, offering him a brief respite, the outlet said.
It’s been a troubled year for the once-thriving Austin developer, who’s dealt with a slew of lawsuits, bankruptcies and foreclosures since the FBI raided his offices in 2019. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Texas recently filed four new wire fraud charges against Paul, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Paul was also at the center of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial earlier this year, as he was accused of bribing Paxton in exchange for legal assistance related to the foreclosures.