Nate Paul trial delayed a year due to “enormous volume” of seized data

More than 100 grand jury subpoenas, several seized computers complicate discovery

Nate Paul
Nate Paul (Austin Police Department, Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)

Nate Paul’s supporters, haters, lenders and lawyers — of which there are many — will have to wait at least a year before his biggest trial yet begins. 

Judge Dustin Howell approved a motion in the federal government’s case against Paul to push the trial to July 29, 2024. It was originally set to begin in just a few weeks, on Aug. 14, with pretrial motions and responses due earlier in the month. 

Both the prosecution and defense agreed that more time was needed to get a handle on the massive amounts of information that will form the bedrock of the case. 

“The government discovery includes the fruits of over 100 grand jury subpoenas and several search warrants in which computers were seized,” David Gerger, an attorney for Paul, wrote in his motion. In all, investigators obtained roughly 5 terabytes of data, the equivalent of many millions of pages of documents. 

Prosecutors’ “initial” production will contain about 118 gigabytes of data. It will take weeks to organize the files, not accounting for any other data dumps after the first 118 gigabytes. 

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A “filter team” also needs to sift through over 5 million seized documents to protect items covered by attorney-client privilege.

“Even working cooperatively as we are, the government discovery will take months to complete – which is simply due to the enormous volume involved and the time needed to load into a database,” Gerger wrote. 

A grand jury indicted Paul in June on charges of lying to lenders several times between March 2017 and April 2018. The developer allegedly sent them fraudulent financial statements inflating his cash holdings and diminishing the amounts he owed in order to score loans. 

The trial delay will also give prosecutors more time to work Paul on a plea agreement, which was originally due by July 28. That could spell trouble for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who faces an impeachment trial set to begin in September, and who stands accused of accepting bribes from Paul, among other wrongdoings.

“You don’t have to be Nostradamus to assume that they’re going to try to flip Nate Paul,” Dan Cogdell, one of Paxton’s impeachment attorneys, said shortly after Paul was arrested. 

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