Business

Point Ruston developer must pay back millions to local investor in securities-fraud case

Mike Cohen, managing partner of the Point Ruston development on Tacoma's waterfront, July 10, 2014. He's standing on a balcony of The Copperline Condominiums.
Mike Cohen, managing partner of the Point Ruston development on Tacoma's waterfront, July 10, 2014. He's standing on a balcony of The Copperline Condominiums. Staff photographer

The Washington state Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a years-long case against the developer of Point Ruston, who was found to have deceived an investor in a separate real-estate project.

A jury previously ruled Mike Cohen violated state securities law during a deal to develop a luxury condominium and apartment project near the Tacoma Mall.

The dispute between Cohen and William Newcomer involved a project called Apex Apartments. Several investors put in their money, including $2.3 million of Newcomer’s retirement savings. The deal went sour and Newcomer lost his money.

In declining to consider Cohen’s appeal, the state’s high court allowed to stand a monetary judgment in favor of Newcomer. That judgment, which includes attorney fees, costs and expenses, is surpassing $5.1 million, according to Newcomer’s attorney Russell Knight.

Loren Cohen, Mike Cohen’s son and the legal adviser to the family business, issued a written statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the family disagreed with it.

“However, we respect the process and will abide by the court’s lawful orders,” according to the statement. “The judgment will not impair or impede the continued successful progress of the Point Ruston project in any way.”

Point Ruston is a large, commercial-residential development straddling Tacoma and Ruston along the western shore of Commencement Bay.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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