AUSTIN, Texas — Owner of World Class Holdings and well-known Austin finance investor Nate Paul has filed a lawsuit against state and federal officials for reportedly violating his fourth and fifth amendment rights.
According to the lawsuit, Paul said this rights were violated when FBI agents and the Texas State Securities Board searched World Class Holdings offices, his home and storage facilities in August 2019 without a valid search warrant or probable cause.
Investigators allegedly intentionally submitted an affidavit with false material statements to obtain the warrants used to search the properties in question, per the lawsuit. They also "knowingly and intentionally omitted or caused to be omitted material facts or statements" from the affidavit.
Investigators reportedly detained Paul's employees during the searches and tried to intimidate and prevent Paul and his employees from lawfully observing, questioning, or objecting to the detention, search, seizure or damage of the property, according to the lawsuit. The suit further states investigating officials "intentionally damaged Plaintiffs’ property without legal justification or probable cause" and "have failed to return Plaintiffs’ property denying them the lawful possession and use of their property."
The suit says investigators also severely damaged and compromised Paul's business reputation, business affairs and suffered "significant financial losses" when they spoke to news media, saying Paul and World Class Holdings were under criminal investigation.
Paul is looking to recover damages from from the defendants, but did not indicate a specific amount in the lawsuit. Instead, the suit states the damages should be determined at trial.
KVUE first reported the FBI presence in the office area of World Class Holdings in 2019, when officials said they could not discuss the nature of their work there. Since the FBI raid, multiple World Class entities have filed for bankruptcy.
According to the World Class website, Paul is the founder, chairman, president and CEO of the company. The website states he formed it in 2007 and is one of nation's largest privately-owned real estate owners and that Paul is the youngest person in history to found and own a billion-dollar real estate company.
Paul was recently mentioned by top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton when the seven aides alleged that Paxton was conducting possible illegal activity with his relationship and activities with Paul. The seven aides asked federal law enforcement to investigate Paxton for crimes committed in his capacity as attorney general.
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