Eric Brauss Was Indicted In A $6 Million Commercial Real Estate Investment Scheme

PLANO, TX—A 68-year-old Dallas man has been indicted in a commercial real estate investment scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Eric Brauss was named in a 10-count indictment for his role in defrauding investors in a commercial real estate investment scheme. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 16, 2011. The indictment alleges that Brauss raised investment capital for two large-scale retail development projects in New Mexico and Fort Worth—Unser Towne Crossing and Parkwood Crossing, respectively—by making false material representations to investors. The indictment further alleges that based on Brauss' false representations, investors provided $2,042,000 in payments to Brauss for the Unser project and $5,998,925 in payments to Brauss for the Parkwood project, and that Brauss used most of the investment capital raised for expenditures unrelated to the two projects. Brauss faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the 10 counts.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shamoil Shipchandler.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.