Real Estate

Former Candidate for State Treasurer Charged with Security Fraud

Brian Watson, a Denver developer and former Republican candidate for Colorado state treasurer, has been told by the Securities and Exchange Commission about the level of investment in 350 investors before raising $49.5 million for 10 real estate projects. He has been charged with lying.

Watson’s “false and misleading” statements about his “skin-in-the-skin” project were material to investors, prompting investment, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the SEC in federal court in Denver. It was something.

The SEC has accused Watson and his business, Northstar Commercial Partners, of violating federal fraud laws for nearly two years, including when they failed to run for the Republican nomination for Colorado Treasurer in 2018. .

The commission is seeking civil penalties against Watson and his business and a permanent injunction to prevent their continuation. They also want his ill-gotten income to be confiscated.

A message The Colorado Sun left Northstar for comment was not immediately returned.

Watson of Inglewood is the sole owner of Denver-based North Star.

According to the complaint, Watson told investors that he would personally invest 4% to 5% of the equity required for the commercial real estate project, or $2.8 million. Watson and his business did not invest in his remaining eight.

Until at least 2018, Watson sent out marketing emails to potential investors, inviting them to become “joint capital partners with my personal funds,” and over the phone, he put personal funds into each project. said.

Investors have amassed “substantial losses” on a number of projects, which the complaint alleges could have been avoided by failing to invest the amount Watson said it would invest.

Over the past two years, Watson collected money from Northstar arising from administrative costs and debt security fees, according to the complaint. Watson purchased a private his jet, a multi-million dollar ranch home, and another multi-million dollar mansion.

Northstar was “consistently” short of cash, according to the complaint, and Watson donated money to his business to cover labor and other operating costs.

The SEC charges are not the first to target Watson’s finances.

His financial history came under scrutiny when he ran against Democrat Dave Young in the 2018 election. At the time, Watson said his past experience, including tax liens, gave him a unique experience that made him better suited to handle state assets. His financial problems emphasized why he shouldn’t be trusted with money.

Watson defeated two other candidates in the 2018 Republican primary, winning 38% of the vote, despite concerns raised about his past finances. won the general election with 52% of the votes against Watson put his $1.3 million of his own money into the campaign.

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