HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A pro-Trump donor is suing a Houston-based group who promised to "investigate, litigate and expose suspected illegal balloting fraud" in the 2020 presidential election.
North Carolina businessman Fred Eshelman, founder of Eshelman Ventures LLC, is suing True the Vote Inc., after he donated $2.5 million to the group, according to court documents.
The suit filed in Houston federal court says Eshelman decided to support True the Vote after the group claimed it would investigate, litigate and expose suspected illegal balloting and fraud and also talking to whistleblowers.
The group allegedly told Eshelman it would cost them $7,325,000 to do the investigation, sue the battleground states that were the closest and serve subpoenas on state election officials.
Court documents say Eshelman originally only paid $2 million, but after legal expenses for the group exceeded that amount, Eshelman donated another $500,000.
Eshelman said he asked for updates from the group, but was only being met with vague responses and empty promises of follow-ups that never happened.
Court documents show True the Vote provided Eshelman with four lawsuits, but didn't provide any specific updates on the cases or the status of the other three states lawsuits.
The group said they made the decision to dismiss the four lawsuits they had, saying they were crippled with constraints and other things. All of these were in states that now President-elect Joe Biden won: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin.
Eshelman eventually asked for his money back, but the group failed to respond, court documents read.
Eshelman said when he threatened to sue the group, they offered to pay him $1 million back, but he declined their offer.
The group said they spent Eshelman's money on the projects that were discussed.
True the Vote Inc. released the following statement regarding the matter:
"Yesterday, we made the difficult decision to dismiss our current lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. While we stand by the voters' testimony that was brought forth, barriers to advancing our arguments, coupled with constraints on time, made it necessary for us to pursue a different path. But our fight for election integrity continues. The litigation component of our work is only a fraction of what we are doing to pursue real solutions to vulnerabilities in our election system. We are proud of the work we have done to inform Americans of the massive gaps in election security - and after the chaos that ensued after November 3, there is no denying the real and widespread problems nationwide. Americans are now 'woke' about the mess - let's clean it up together.
"Our mission is much bigger than just one election. It is about repairing the system for all future elections. Our data analysis is ongoing and we'll continue our own thorough top to bottom investigation in the key battleground states to expose the gaping security lapses in our election system. American voters deserve to know the truth. They deserve to have every legal vote counted, which means exposing the illegal votes and shoring up the system to minimize future illegal votes. We are pressing onward.... Georgia here we come."