- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A developer plans to appeal a $2.3 million judgment awarded to an investor.

Jurors decided last week that developer Mike Cohen misrepresented or omitted information to William Newcomer and was liable for damages, the News Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1JGDwau ).

Cohen was a main force behind the Point Ruston real estate development.

Newcomer says Cohen lent money from Point Ruston to the Apex project at up to 20 percent interest. He also said Cohen failed in his stated agreement to match Newcomer’s investment in Apex.

“I would not have invested, and would not have lost, these funds, if I had known that Cohen failed to make the capital contributions he represented he made, or had I known that Cohen was borrowing funds that get repaid first from an entity controlled by Cohen,” Newcomer said

The developer said in court that investors in the Apex luxury apartment and condominium project lost money due to the Great Recession.

“As the global economy sank deeper and deeper during the Great Recession, so too did the Apex project,” Cohen said in a sworn affidavit filed in July.

His lawyers wrote in a Sept. 1 trial brief that Apex was affected by a variety of factors, including other completed projects nearby and a soldier deployment saturating the area with vacancies.

“Shortly after both apartment buildings were fully operational, the Great Recession hit, and with a vengeance,” lawyers Travis Mahugh and Bradley Jones wrote. “As a result, the demand for luxury apartments (and condominiums) plummeted.”

The developer’s son and family business legal adviser, Loren Cohen, says if the $2.3 million verdict stands, an appeal is likely.

“We are confident the verdict will be reversed by the judge or on appeal,” he said.

A hearing is set for Oct. 9.

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Information from: The News Tribune, https://www.thenewstribune.com

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