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Your Uber is now arriving: Northstar’s Watson wants side job ahead of trial

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Brian Watson is the owner of Northstar Commercial Partners, a Denver-based real estate developer. (Photo courtesy: Braunstein Hyatt Faber Schreck)

Brian Watson’s court date is finally in sight – and he wants to add a side job.

Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. of the Eastern District of Virginia last month set a May 1 trial date to resolve a lawsuit filed by Amazon against Watson and his Denver-based developer Northstar Commercial Partners. has been set.

Amazon lawsuit Dates through April 2020accuses Watson and Northstar of paying kickbacks to two then-Amazon employees, Karl Nelson and Casey Kirshner, to win contracts to develop Amazon Web Services data centers in northern Virginia. doing.

Watson and Nelson deny any wrongdoing. Related criminal investigation — so far no charges have been filed — and few are included in the filing of the lawsuit.

Brownstein, Hyatt-Farber and Schreck Watson attorney Stan Garnett told BusinessDen that he and his clients were “very pleased” that Alston set a “prompt” court date.

“The only remedy is for him to get due process and a fair hearing,” Garnett said of his client.

But before that trial begins, Watson may travel. In a filing last week, Watson told a judge he wanted to start driving for companies like Lyft and Uber.

“Mr. Watson wants to cover living expenses and prepare Christmas gifts for his family,” the filing, authored by Garnett, said.

The reason Watson needed to speak to the judge about his desire to drive the night was that both his personal and business finances were overseen by a court-appointed trustee. since the end of last yearThe recipient gave Watson a monthly budget of $12,000 for his personal spending.

Watson said in a Nov. 4 filing that he currently drives a 16-year-old car with about 200,000 miles on it and was authorized to purchase it last year from a recipient for $7,800. However, he said the vehicle would not be “qualified” for the ride-booking company as it would require about $5,500 worth of work, including new brakes and shocks.

Watson said the recipient “couldn’t address” his request for funds to either repair the vehicle or purchase or lease another vehicle.

“Mr. Watson is currently providing funds for the recipient to purchase or lease a vehicle that meets the requirements of the rideshare application to Mr. Watson so that Mr. Watson can travel safely with his family and supplement his income.” We are asking the Court to clarify whether it is necessary to provide

The document does not specify which companies Watson will hypothetically drive, but Lyft and Uber are the two dominant players in the industry.

The request shows just how much life has changed in the last few years for Watson, who was nominated by the Republican Party as Treasurer of Colorado in 2018. In his 2020 court filing, he said he was worth $61.5 million personally as of the end of May that year.

“The impact on Brian and his business has been devastating,” Garnett said Tuesday.

Watson sold his Cherry Hills village mansion for $8.5 million At the end of last year, his company Unloaded multiple propertiesBefore Amazon’s lawsuit, Northstar had about 40 employees, now it’s down to just one.

Watson said in a filing dated October 7 that if the court Wanted to sell 5% stake in Northstar office building Near the Denver Art Museum, Northstar will probably have to lay off its last employee and “go out of business for good.”

“There are only two assets that generate the majority of Northstar’s remaining consistent monthly income, one of which is 1221 Broadway,” Watson said.

A judge has yet to rule on whether to allow the sale to proceed.

Watson’s finances are being watched by trustees for failing to comply with a judge’s 2020 order to put approximately $25 million into an escrow account. No, and the recipient has confirmed that.

“Amazon suggested that Brian had hidden funds or had an offshore account or something,” Garnett said.

At the same time, Watson and the recipient apparently have a tough relationship, with the recipient regularly criticizing Watson for demanding spending in excess of his scholarship allowance and describing his communication. as “threats and demands”.

In a Nov. 4 filing, Watson said the appointment of the trustee caused the default of many of Northstar’s investment transactions and created new problems for him and his company.

“Watson’s defendants, in addition to the current litigation, have filed millions of dollars in connection with defaults on several loans on assets that are not at issue in this case because a trustee is currently named. is facing a lawsuit against

Separately, Watson and Northstar are also facing civil securities fraud lawsuits. collected in August The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing the company for real estate deals unrelated to those it did with Amazon. deny wrongdoing In that case.

Watson wants to drive for Uber

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