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Richmond real estate developer facing lawsuit over alleged fraud

Richmond real estate developer facing lawsuit over alleged fraud
Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 23:28:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- One of the owners of new multimillion-dollar residential property in Richmond that begins leasing this weekend is now facing a federal lawsuit from two of his investors.

The property at the center of the lawsuit is Model Tobacco Lofts apartments in Richmond’s Southside.

The apartments will be looking for residents to lease the 203 apartments beginning Saturday morning. The apartment complex is owned and managed by Christopher Harrison

Harrison is facing a 58-page federal lawsuit filed by two of his investors last week. The investors claim he has been committing fraud and money laundering to defraud investors to “dupe them as part of a plan to wrest their investment away from them” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit focuses on seven key points to support that argument.

The suit claims he got an investor to buy in on a project for an LLC that didn’t exist. They claim he used false statements and exaggerated descriptions to entice the investors to buy into the project.

The investors claim Harrison used company funds for personal purposes and “cooked books” to inflate his personal contributions.

The lawsuit finally claims he ignored operating agreements, mixed money within different companies he owns and defrauded additional investors to cover it up to the original investors.

CBS6 took those claims to Harrison at the preview property opening.

He said he was surprised by the lawsuit and didn’t see it coming. He states that all claims are false, but said he could not touch on it more.

“My partners see things one way, I see things another. The truth will come out as we continue this path through the legal system,” he said.

CBS6 also reached out to the attorney representing the two investors who filed the complaint.

They stated the investors want this project to be successful because they have invested millions which is why they are bringing the lawsuit to protect it from Mr. Harrison’s alleged misconduct.

“Unfortunately, this lawsuit is just the latest in an overlong string of lawsuits against Mr. Harrison based on his dishonesty and deceit in connection,” wrote the attorney in a written statement.

Through the lawsuit, the investors are asking for compensation for damages, funds to cover their attorney fees, and orders disassociating them from the development group.

Harrison has not yet responded to the complaint.

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