Rock Hill claims fraud from Tepper’s real estate company in failed Panthers project

New legal filing says GT Real Estate wanted more public money for less private investment.
Rock Hill City Council voted to file a new legal complaint against Panther’s owner David Tepper’s Real Estate company in the case of the failed facility.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 1:48 PM EDT
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ROC HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Wednesday, Rock Hill city council voted to file a new legal complaint against Panther’s owner David Tepper’s Real Estate company in the case of the failed football facility project. The city now claims, Tepper’s company repeatedly failed to provide key financial information that doomed the project and is asking a judge to find the company committed fraud.

The complaint claims Tepper’s GT Real Estate firm had “conflicting financial demands” by wanting more public investment but refusing to backstop the bonds in case the project went south. The city says GT Real Estate wanted $225 million in bond proceeds but was only willing to contribute $500 million in private investments.

The full complaint can be read here.

Throughout the process, the city claims GT Real Estate failed to provid financial information that would back those bonds.

“the duality of GTRE’s demand for $225 million in bond proceeds while only committing to $500 million in private investment was problematic without GTRE providing additional documentation for the bond story, additional backstop, material additional security, accelerated construction or increased private investment commitments, which GTRE steadfastly failed or refused to provide,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit claims that GT Real Estate’s breach of contract demonstrates the company had fraudulent intent.

The lawsuit claims GTRE breached the Financing Construction and Administration Agreement “by failing or refusing to cooperate, communicate, perform further acts, execute and deliver necessary documents and act reasonably and expeditiously, in a timely and complete manner.”

“The circumstances surrounding GTRE’s breach as described herein demonstrate that GTRE had fraudulent intent,” the city claims in the lawsuit.

The city is seeking a jury trial and is demanding actual damages of $20 million, comensatory and punitive damages, and rights to the property now controlled by GTRE.

WBTV reached out to both Rock Hill and Tepper Sports and Entertainment. A spokesperson for GT Real Estate declined comment. Rock Hill has not responded.

This court filing comes after GT Real Estate offered a new bankruptcy settlement plan that would compensate the city $20 million of debt by selling the facility property.