Watch: How Josh Schuster’s Silverback is weathering the storm

Developer, hit with a string of lawsuits before and after a TRD investigation, sits the record straight

New York /
Mar.March 15, 2022 09:30 AM

July 16, 2021 was a difficult day for Josh Schuster.

The upstart developer, who appeared on The Real Deal’s “Rising Stars” list in 2015 and was the subject of a Wall Street Journal profile a year later, was suddenly the subject of a new level of press scrutiny. TRD published an investigation into Schuster, who had come under fire in a number of lawsuits claiming misappropriation of funds and whose firm, Silverback Development, had lost about half of its employees in the months before the article.

“The first couple weeks, I wore a hat. I was embarrassed to go in public,” Schuster said in a new on-camera interview with TRD publisher Amir Korangy.

Schuster declined to comment specifically on the allegations detailed in the July 16 article. In this interview, he stated that he wanted to “tell [his] story”, and that he would “take full responsibility for any tattoo that’s now on the Silverback body.”

Still, when asked whether he was still involved with projects like a planned 200-unit condo tower at 131 East 47th Street, he declined to comment. And though he noted that litigation against him has been updated, he did not provide specifics.

“The problem with litigation is, whoever shoots first narrates the story,” Schuster said. “You’ll notice with introduced paperwork into the courts, that this one’s removed, this allegation’s removed, this one is denied because of XYZ fact.”

According to court documents, of the eight lawsuits filed before TRD’s article went to press, Schuster has been ordered to pay damages in four; reached settlements in two; one has been withdrawn; and one is ongoing. Since the story, he has been hit with three additional lawsuits, of which one has been withdrawn, while the other two are ongoing.

Despite that, Schuster hasn’t stopped moving forward. “We still are managing money. We are still actively pursuing opportunities. We are still working,” he said.

Watch the video above for Schuster’s full response.


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