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U.S. Bancorp accuses Opus Corp. of fraud

U.S. Bancorp is suing Opus, the Star Tribune reports.

A day after Finance & Commerce profiled the problems facing Opus Group, things got even worse for the Minnetonka-based commercial real estate developer.

U.S. Bancorp is suing Opus, the Star Tribune reports. The lawsuit alleges Opus owes it more than $78 million, and that part of the reason it hasn’t been able to pay up is that the developer fraudulently moved money into trusts associated with Opus founder Gerald Rauenhorst.

[Update: I’m told The Business Journal’s Sam Black should get credit for breaking the news about this lawsuit. Here’s a link to the story, which was posted seven hours before the Star Tribune’s version, for those of you keeping score.]

The bank alleges that transfers made to those trusts between 2003 and 2008 resulted in the development company becoming insolvent. Its lawsuit also said Opus violated credit terms by lending $45 million to Opus South, its Atlanta-based regional operating company.

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Opus said in a prepared statement to the newspaper that it believes claims made in the lawsuit are inaccurate and that it has “significant defenses” to fight the allegations.