FBI investigating St. Paul developer Jerry Trooien

Developer Jerry Trooien
Developer Jerry Trooien's proposed billion-dollar Bridges of St. Paul project was rejected by the St. Paul City Council in 2007.
MPR Photo/Marisa Helms

The FBI is investigating St. Paul developer Jerry Trooien.

Agents executed a search warrant at Trooien's office near downtown St. Paul on Thursday, looking for evidence of fraud, according to FBI agent Steve Warfield, a spokesman for the agency's Minneapolis office.

Warfield said the FBI was working with the Internal Revenue Service as agents began searching the offices of Trooien's company, JLT Group, Thursday morning.

Trooien is best known for a project he never got done -- the $1.5 billion Bridges of St. Paul development, which he hoped to build across the river from downtown St. Paul.

The project, a riverfront village of shops and condos, fell apart in 2007 because of a lack of community support.

St. Paul city council member Dave Thune said the Bridges proposal in 2006 came at a time when real estate values were rising.

"I think at the time everybody presumed the real estate market was extremely alive and well and subsequently it didn't turn out to be that way," Thune said. "But I think Jerry was sincere and the folks that opposed it were also sincere."

Trooien bankruptcy petition »

His company also owns many other properties in the Twin Cities metro area. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2010.

Recently, the U.S. Trustee handling Trooien's case recommended his assets be liquidated.

Trooien has not returned a phone call seeking comment.

(MPR News reporter Laura Yuen and Dan Olson contributed to this report.)

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