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LAS CRUCES – Two real estate tycoons – a young New Mexico up-and-comer and an older West Texas powerhouse – are duking it out in the courts over a bungled investment deal that has pitted the former business partners against each other.
A company led by El Paso’s Bill Sanders, a 74-year-old known as a visionary for his multibillion-dollar real estate deals, has sued a company set up by Santa Fe-based Dan Burrell, claiming he breached a contract and defaulted on a planned investment.
Burrell, the 37-year-old real estate investor behind New Mexico State University’s new osteopathic medical school, counter-sued in federal court alleging Sanders’ company defrauded Burrell and other investors.
The lawsuits are a rare public airing of private discord for both men.
Sanders declined to comment for this article through a spokesperson. Burrell, who, according to the complaint, recruited investors and made an undisclosed personal investment, declined to comment.
The transaction, in the works for six months and inked in March, was framed as a real estate play in which Burrell’s Borderplex Investment Partners LLC would put $20 million into Sanders’ Borderplex Realty Trust to fund multi-family housing developments in the Southwest, according to court documents.
The $20 million securities purchase was structured to take place in three payments. Burrell and his investors paid the initial $8.5 million but did not pay the $1.5 million and $10 million installments due in March and April, according to court documents.
This is where the two sides’ stories diverge.
Burrell’s investors allege that the agreement was “based on multiple fraudulent misrepresentations” and say they want their $8.5 million back. Sanders’ company wants the rest of the money it says it is owed.
Read the rest of the article at Albuquerque Journal.