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The Flint water crisis promises to be a major issue in the 2018 Michigan governor’s election.
Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

LANSING — A buyer filed a federal lawsuit against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar, alleging the Ann Arbor businessman fraudulently inflated the value of a company before its 2016 sale.

Avomeen Holdings LLC, a Delaware company located in Ann Arbor, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit against Thanedar and Chemreal LLC.

Thanedar received about $20 million from the $33.6-million sale price when he sold his majority interest in Avomeen Holdings, a chemical testing company, according to the lawsuit. At the same time, Thanedar kept a minority interest in Avomeen through his company Chemreal, the suit alleges.

“However, purchaser has discovered … that in the critical months leading up to close, Thanedar made fraudulent and misleading representations to purchaser regarding Avomeen’s financial practices and the nature and amount of Avomeen’s monthly revenues and earnings,” the lawsuit alleges.

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“Thanedar’s scheme successfully, but fraudulently, induced purchaser to close the transaction and pay a higher amount for seller’s equity interest than it was worth.”

Thanedar did not immediately respond to a message left on his cell phone. His spokeswomen did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Thanedar, a political newcomer, has barely registered in early polls for the 2018 gubernatorial campaign but has gained some attention by putting nearly $6 million of his own money into his campaign.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.

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