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Robert Edelman’s Very Bad Day in Bankruptcy Court

Edelman (left) in a still from a 2008 YouTube video touting his knowledge of Dallas real estate.
Edelman (left) in a still from a 2008 YouTube video touting his knowledge of Dallas real estate.

There’s news regarding Robert Edelman, the Dallas real estate developer convicted of plotting to murder his estranged wife. Late yesterday afternoon, about 10 minutes after I’d finished drafting and scheduling the post that we published this morning that highlights the May 1988 D MagazineĀ story on the case as among our 40 greatest stories, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a judgment in the dispute between Drexel Highlander Limited Partnership and Edelman and his wife Diana.

DHLP was a company created for the development of the Drexel Highlander Building, which sits at the intersection of Prescott and Oak Lawn avenues. Edelman and the plaintiff in the case, Glenn Wiggins, were partners in the venture. The court awarded damages of roughly $4.5 million to DHLP and determined that this debt cannot be discharged by the Edelmans as part of their bankruptcy filing because it stemmed from fraudulent activities.

The Edelmans were found not only to have lived rent-free (even though they had a deal allowing them to pay just $200 a month for a condo that typically rents for $4,500) in a unit of the Drexel Highlander building months after they’d been ordered to vacate but also to have taken out loans on behalf of the company that were used to fund lavish personal expenses. In addition, Diana Edelman was paid illegal commissions on the sale of units in the building, though she’s not a real estate agent or a salesperson, nor was she employed by DHLP.

Attorney Charlie Jones of Haynes and Boone has been involved with this case since the initial lawsuit was filed in state court in early 2011. He explained that a trial date had been set and that the night before the case was headed to pre-trial conference ahead of jury selection, Edelman declared bankruptcy. That put a stop to the suit, but the firm moved quickly to transfer the matter to bankruptcy court, which is why it ended up there for a two-day trial in March.

“Robert Edelman, without our client’s knowledge, got the keys to the bank funds and did what he wanted with them because he thought nobody would catch him,” Jones said. Wiggins and Edelman had apparently been friends for many years prior to this happening. Wiggins even introduced Edelman to Diana Keys, who became his wife.

There’ll be another hearing about who has to pay the attorney’s fees, and the final judgment may end up reduced, but Jones said his client plans to do everything within the power of the law to collect what’s been awarded to DHLP. (I left a message for Edelman’s attorney and will update this post when I hear back.)

So essentially my first post about what Edelman’s been up to since serving prison time for trying to have Linda Edelman whacked is correct: He continues to live a dramatic life.

Edelman Bankruptcy Judgment