Local Commercial Real Estate Community Is Mighty Nervous About the Sudden Disappearance of Money Man Eric Brauss

Categories: Biz, Crime
Eric Brauss
Speaking of local real estate deals ...

A few days ago a Friend of Unfair Park who's in the commercial real estate business asked, "Ever heard of Eric Brauss?" Couldn't say that I had. He then pointed me to Today Realty Advisors' Web site, which details the dozens of transactions the firm has financed since its inception in 1990, when Brauss, a German native, moved to Dallas from Canada. Among the projects: the Dallas Design Center, Denton Towne Crossing, Lake Highlands Plaza ... the list goes on and on and encompasses not only North Texas but several other states.

This Friend then explained: "Word is, Brauss has left the country." Why? Because he allegedly owes a handful of people millions of dollars -- $6.028 million at least, according to legal documents filed in state court on November 23. After the jump, you will find the complete complaint against Brauss and his wife, Christine, by seven Dallas County residents and one German, who also asked for a temporary restraining order against the couple lest they get away with $120 million more currently in 39 real estate partnerships. You'll also find the TRO, granted by Judge Bruce Priddy. The complaint also says the Today Realty offices on Dallas Parkway have been shuttered, which, turns out, Steve Brown confirmed moments ago in a short item that only speculates about Brauss's whereabouts.

Brauss's attorney, Larry Friedman, confirms in an interview with Unfair Park that his client has left the country; Friedman says Christine Brauss is still in Dallas and that "I saw her today." Where is Eric Brauss, then?

"You're asking his lawyer where he is?" Friedman says. "I am currently not discussing Mr. Brauss's location."

Well, then, why did he leave the country?

"Only Mr. Brauss can answer that question," says Friedman. "It's not unlawful to leave the country."

Friedman says he hasn't been served with the complaint, but he's certainly read it -- after all, he dismisses the allegations and says "the plaintiffs cannot support the allegations in that lawsuit." Asked when he will file a response, Friedman says he's not yet sure.

Our Friend says Brauss's leaving the country has created nothing short of an earthquake across the local real estate community. How big is this?

"Huge," says our Friend. "Huge. He was an equity partner in numerous deals around Dallas-Fort Worth, and for someone of his stature to flee the country will cause a lot of heartache for several developers who are in the process of refinancing their loans and will now not have the equity source to come up with it. It's a big deal."

To the legal documents.
Helmut Landwehr v. Today Realty Landwehr v. Today Realty TRO

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If you do not know who you are investing with, then you should not invest. When I started officing at One Irving Plaza ( http://www.dfwoffices.com ), I made it a point to make sure I knew who my lessor and his business practices...and that was for a simple lease!! You should be twice as thorough when you are investing

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Many individuals have their contracts of sale written up by real attorneys. This type of contract includes the specific stipulations and terms and it defines the rules surrounding a sale. People who need to disclose specific facts about a house or building do so in this contract. They also use it to protect themselves against legal action.

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These type of attorneys prepare contracts, review agreements, and appear in court for their clients. A purchase agreement includes details of the item being purchased and the conditions that surround the building or property. This type of agreement includes details of repairs that need to be done, date of possession, down payment amounts, and the dates of the transfer. Real estate attorneys must check these agreements to ensure that laws are not violated and to protect their clients.


You've got to be kidding me, any investments that were made were not promised or 100%. People need to either 1. stop investing and putting all there faith in one thing, or 2. suck it up and take it like it is; A bad economy. You cannot blame this on a couple who would do anything for anybody. And let me take a wild guess, everybody who did take the risk and lost money is again investing and taking another chance. People amaze me. You speak worse of losing money than losing people these days. Lets get it together people!!!


I as well knew them personally. Loved Christine..She was a real down to earth person. Her and eric were very kind to me and my daughters. What I dont understand is how did this happen. How could someone with that kind of money do such a thing. My prayers go out to Christine as well as Eric. Maybe he just got caught up! My problem is , we invested/lended in CDB holdings and now we are suffering. We are not big timers like them but work hard for our money and for them to know my personal issues...I dont know how they sleep at night. Its not fair that they get to continue to live well, while those of us struggle to keep it together.

a friend
a friend

I too happen to know the kind hearted, generous Eric Brauss that is mentioned above. At this point, although shady, it is all specualtion. In reality, it is probably a combination of many things. First, and foremost- the bottom dropping out to the market, and places such as GAP, BLACK & WHITE and other anchor stores that were tennants of TRA closing and droppping off like flies, instant decline in property and loans, mixed with some mis-managed funds. Dallas can be cruel, and far too quick to judge. Everyone needs a fall guy.....

Someone Close
Someone Close

I personally know Eric and have known him for several years. I am absolutely shocked and just sad to learn that someone I respected and admired has resorted to this. I knew when he left that he had "sold" everything, possibly divorce Christine to protect her legally, and left the country knowing that he would never return unless the Fed's bring him back. I had absolutely no idea that he was spending other people's money, similar to the "Madoff" scandal.This just sickens my heart. The man I knew helped everyone anyway he could. I hope that he can come back and do things the right way, face this issue dead on, and deal with the consquences so he can learn and grow from the mistakes that were made.Eric, where ever you are, I know deep down you are a good man. Do the right thing, and if you need anything, just ask. I'll do what I can.

To those of you who will financially suffer. My deepest sympathy's go out to all of you. I am fortunate enough to not have invested in any of his projects, nor has anyone I personally know, so far. I am certain that this is something that he may have just began to do and it spiraled out of control. Not to say that it is right in any way, but we are all human, and lifestyles are hard to change, we make mistakes to learn from them if given the chance. This just goes to show that you never really do know anyone, never.Have a wonderful christmas regardless of what side of the fence you are on.Happy Holidays!

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