Nate Paul loses appeal for Austin properties

Two downtown sites could be sold for $172M after Texas Supreme Court move

World Class Holdings' Nate Paul
World Class Holdings' Nate Paul (World Class Holdings, Getty)

Another loss has been tallied against Nate Paul, as he fights to overcome a slew of legal battles and salvage his once-promising real estate portfolio in Austin. 

The Texas Supreme Court on July 28 declined to hear an appeal from Paul, following a lawsuit involving the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation on which Paul was on the losing side, the Austin Business Journal reported. The ruling could lead to the sale of several properties owned by the World Class Holdings CEO, who is also facing federal criminal charges.

Among the scandals related to Paul, including the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the case tied to the Mitte Foundation is one of the longest-running disputes. 

The non-profit sued Paul for fraud in 2018 over investments it made seven years prior in two downtown sites Paul owned. In July 2021, Travis County District Judge Jan Soifer approved a $1.9 million arbitration judgment against Paul, issued an injunction that blocked him from moving his assets and reinstated Mitte’s ownership stake in the properties. Paul appealed the case and jumped through hoops to avoid a jail sentence, but now it appears that the saga is coming to an end.

The properties in question are a lot at 99 Trinity Street that Paul bought for $9.27 million in 2012, and an assemblage of parcels at Third Street and Congress Avenue that he purchased that same year for $15.6 million. Those sites could now be sold for a total of $172 million, the outlet said.

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Greg Milligan, a court-appointed receiver who took control of the downtown sites in light of the legal battle, agreed to sell the properties for $95 million and $77 million, respectively. A Travis County judge approved the sales, but neither transaction could close due to the various appeals. 

World Class could still file a motion asking for a rehearing, but the Supreme Court’s denial is a big win for Mitte and its legal team.

“We’ve still got work to do, so it’s not over or anything,” Ray Chester of McGinnis Lochridge, attorney for the Mitte Foundation, told the outlet. “But this was probably the biggest step; the beginning of the end, let’s put it that way.”

—Quinn Donoghue 

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