Pass the Popcorn

Matthew G. Saroff
2 min readJun 10, 2023


Real estate developer Nate Paul, whose corrupt relationship with suspended and facing an impeachment trial in the Texas Senate Attorney General Ken Paxton, has been arrested on fraud related charges.

This is not a surprise. Paxton has been using his position as Attorney General to protect Paul, and himself, for the past 8 years.

Now that Paxton’s corrupt hands have been pried from the levers of power, it seems to me that a lot of people are making the effort to ensure that he does not get the chance to to further pervert the enforcement of the law.

Federal prosecutors have brought charges of making false statements to financial institutions against the businessman at the center of the allegations swirling around Ken Paxton, the impeached attorney general of Texas.

The man — Nate Paul, a real estate investor in Austin and a donor to Mr. Paxton’s campaign — appeared in shackles before a magistrate judge for 30 minutes on Friday morning, wearing a blue shirt, faded jeans and sneakers. He did not enter a plea, and was allowed to go home after the hearing.

Prosecutors accused Mr. Paul of exaggerating the value of his assets, telling mortgage companies and credit unions that he had more money that he actually did.

Mr. Paul was arrested Thursday afternoon by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to jail records.

An eight-count felony indictment by a federal grand jury, unsealed Friday morning, alleges that Mr. Paul lied about his liabilities, his liquidity and the balance in his bank accounts, and that he falsified documents to obtain millions of dollars in loans that he would have otherwise been unable to obtain.


Mr. Paul has had legal troubles at least since 2019, when F.B.I. agents raided his 9,175-square-foot home and his downtown offices in connection with an inquiry whose specifics they declined to disclose at the time. Investigators for a Texas House committee revealed last month that Mr. Paul had asked his friend Mr. Paxton to help him learn more about that federal investigation, a request that may have violated the state’s public records laws. And since the F.B.I. raid, Mr. Paul has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Paul’s appeal for help from Mr. Paxton is the aspect of the case that has attracted the most scrutiny. Investigators and whistle-blowers who spoke up about what they perceived to be abuse of power in the attorney general’s office said that Mr. Paxton arranged a meeting between Mr. Paul and the local district attorney’s office, and later appointed a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Paul’s allegations about law enforcement abuses, even though members of Mr. Paxton’s staff raised concerns that those actions might violate the rules of the office.

If Mr. Paul is smart, he needs to flip on Paxton, sooner rather than later.

Otherwise, he will be sharing a cell with Donald Trump.