Kristian Nelson and Companies Win $43.6 Million Jury Verdict | Arkansas Business News

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A Pulaski County Circuit Court jury awarded $43.6 million on Friday to an elderly Little Rock man who accused an ex-con in a civil suit of defrauding him of $4.5 million.

The jury awarded Richard F. Toll $4.6 million against Kristian D. Nelson of England for compensatory damages and $13 million for punitive damages. The jury also awarded Toll the same amount against each of Nelson’s businesses, the Little Rock restaurant Hawgz Blues Café LLC and a used car company, I Sell 4 U Auto Sales LLC of North Little Rock.

In July 2020, Toll of Little Rock, who is over 90, sued Nelson and said the alleged fraud began in September 2017, when Toll first loaned Nelson $10,000 for the Hawgz Blues Café. , according to the lawsuit.

Nelson then continued to return to Toll almost weekly “with lies and manipulative fabrications to draw more and more money from Toll,” according to the lawsuit.

Nelson denied the allegation. Nelson told Arkansas Business in August 2020 that he needed the money for the Little Rock restaurant, a second Hawgz location in North Little Rock, and the used car company.

Nelson had filed a counterclaim against Toll with allegations that included breach of contract. But Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled in Toll’s favor before those claims were presented to the jury on Friday.

Toll’s attorney, David Wilson of Friday Eldredge & Clark of Little Rock, told Arkansas Business on Monday that he would begin a search for Nelson’s assets.

“Yes [Nelson] had $43 million, I guess he wouldn’t defraud Mr. Toll out of $4 million,” Wilson said. “So collecting is going to be a lot of work, but the family is committed to making sure they collect everything possible, forever.”

Nelson told Arkansas Business on Monday that he plans to appeal. He said he was unable to present his side of the case.

Griffen ruled last month that Nelson could not call any witnesses to testify unless they were on the plaintiff’s witness list. And he couldn’t present any evidence at trial unless the exhibit was on the plaintiff’s exhibit list. But Nelson was called to testify because he was on the plaintiff’s witness list.

Wilson had filed a motion that Nelson failed to meet discovery deadlines in the case. Wilson requested that Nelson be barred from calling witnesses to testify and presenting exhibits at trial. Griffin agreed.

In 2009, Nelson was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison for wire fraud after taking about 20 investors for more than $1 million.

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