Domestic Violence Allegations Emerge As Patrick Carroll Pushes To Sell His Apartment Empire
Carroll CEO M. Patrick Carroll has deeper legal issues — and more run-ins with law enforcement and the judicial system — than previously reported, according to a news investigation published over the weekend.
The Daily Beast published a report late Friday that revealed Carroll had been ordered to stay away from his ex-wife after being accused of domestic violence and stalking, posted homophobic and graphic content to social media, and was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
These court records were also obtained and corroborated by Bisnow.
The investigation was published a month after Carroll was caught on video appearing to spit in the face of a restaurant employee in Miami, as The Real Deal reported. The revelations come at a precarious time for Carroll: The developer has been attempting to sell all or part of the company he has spent nearly 20 years building into a multifamily giant.
Carroll, 43, founded the company in 2004 and has grown it to employ 800 and manage 30,000 units across the U.S. Carroll told Bisnow in April he had tapped investment bank UBS Group AG to explore a partial or full sale of the company, with a hopeful closing date as soon as this summer.
His public persona is one of a self-made real estate mogul and philanthropist who donates generously to charities, has over a million Instagram followers, goes on TV to discuss the economy and manages an apartment portfolio worth more than $7B.
As of Wednesday, all but 26 posts from his Instagram page have been deleted, but screenshots of past posts and stories reviewed by Bisnow include photos of Carroll smoking unknown substances and posing with guns. The social media page also included images that he claimed show his ex-wife having sex at the Tampa home they once shared.
Carroll hasn’t responded to Bisnow’s requests for comment on the matters raised in the Daily Beast article. But Bisnow received a letter from his attorney, Duncan Levin, stating that Bisnow’s email seeking comment was “filled with false allegations and questions that suggest you are writing an article that will portray a false narrative about Mr. Carroll and the reported sale of his company.”
“Mr. Carroll is a hugely successful businessman whose real estate company brings in billions of dollars each year,” Levin wrote. “The reporting thus far has had absolutely no effect on Mr. Carroll’s business, and an article suggesting otherwise is not only incorrect but defamatory and unlawful.”
Included in the documents and records that have started to surface is a website of unknown origin, realmpatrickcarroll.com, that a Florida judge ordered earlier this year to be taken down. Published on that page, which Bisnow reviewed before it was removed from the Internet Archive, is an audio recording of Carroll speaking to his then-wife in which he admits to hitting her.
Carroll admitted to its authenticity in a lawsuit he filed to have the page removed and uncover the identity of its operator. On the recording, Lindsey Truex, who was Lindsey Carroll at the time, recounted how her then-husband hit her as she held one of their three sons in her arms, then proceeded to hit her again when she was on the ground.
“You apologized for that one and say that you weren’t going to hit me again, but this last time, I mean, you slapped me three times across my face and then, and then you’re, you’re choking me, and you haven’t even apologized for that,” she said on the recording, which Bisnow has listened to.
“I’m not sorry because you caused it,” Carroll said in response. “I’ll say I’m sorry for getting physical with you. Just think about it, you lied to my face that day.”
Carroll’s lawsuit claims the recording was edited and made from a phone call in September 2019 without his knowledge, violating Florida law. While therealmpatrickcarroll.com is still down, a site with the URL http://realmpatrickcarroll.co/ is active, touting Carroll’s success as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and father.
In his attorneys’ motion to take down the website where the recording was posted, they wrote its disclosure “is causing irreparable harm.”
As Carroll’s profile as a celebrity mogul has grown, so have reports of public, violent outbursts.
The Daily Beast reported that Carroll was arrested in 2019 for disorderly conduct after lashing out against the supervisor of a Vail, Colorado, ski resort after his children’s ski lessons were delayed, a charge to which he pleaded guilty and paid a $300 fine.
In the year after that reported arrest, a Florida woman filed for a protective injunction against him from stalking, and Lindsey Carroll filed for a domestic violence protective order, according to court records. He was found guilty in Florida Circuit Court in February 2020 of violating the order and failing to pay court-ordered child support and was sentenced to serve 16 days in jail, according to a judge’s ruling obtained by Bisnow.
The video he posted of his wife may have broken Florida’s sexual cyberharassment statute, two attorneys told The Daily Beast. He also posted photos of his ex-wife’s divorce attorney, Michael Lundy, overlaid with text such as “he messes with young children” and “he’s criminal and I’m going to prove it,” according to court filings.
Lundy sued Carroll for defamation in Florida earlier this year, accusing him of harassing Lundy during the divorce proceedings and attempting to damage his reputation and business, according to the complaint. Carlton Mitchell, Lundy’s attorney, told Bisnow Carroll taunted and demeaned Lundy over both social media and through email and phone calls. Mitchell said Carroll on one occasion had a pizza delivered to Lundy's private home address during the divorce proceedings.
Mitchell said in all the years he has been a family law attorney, Carroll was the only person he had seen go to such extremes toward his ex-wife and her attorney.
“We’ve seen anger, we’ve seen aggressive behavior,” Mitchell said in an interview with Bisnow. “With family law, we’ve never seen anything like this. And from anybody, much less from somebody who puts himself out there in the public.”
While Carroll was embroiled in courtroom proceedings, he was also aggressively growing his company.
He launched investment funds that raised capital with equity partners to purchase apartments. His company, which is headquartered in Atlanta, has also partnered with major institutional investors like Goldman Sachs and PGIM on apartment purchases. Goldman Sachs declined to comment, and PGIM didn’t respond to a request for comment as of press time.
In August 2022, Carroll closed a $340M capital raise from institutional investors for the company’s seventh fund, which was more than twice the size of its sixth, the company reported. The fund gave the company $5.5B of buying power, and by October it had acquired $1.3B worth of apartments in Sun Belt markets. The company sold more than $2B of properties over the same period, it said in a release.
“In addition to securing properties with joint venture partnerships, the size and structure of this vehicle will allow Carroll to fully purchase deals on its own, enhancing its credibility and reach in the marketplace,” a press release stated.
As of early 2023, Carroll raised more than $4.4B of equity in total and had purchased, developed and sold nearly $21B in real estate, it said in a press release. Carroll told Bisnow last month that the recent slowdown in the investment market was an opportunity to explore a move to grow his business aggressively.
“You want to be in a position of strength and ready to go when the market rebounds,” he said at the time. “Personally, I've been thinking, ‘OK, how do we bulk up? How do we get ready for this next wave of buying opportunities?’”
Carroll's business has experienced significant turnover in the leadership ranks in recent months. Carroll President and Chief Investment Officer Josh Champion left the firm in September 2022, Real Estate Alert reported last month. Several other high-level executives have left the firm this year, per the Green Street-owned publication.
Carroll told Bisnow in April that Champion left for health reasons and other recently departed employees were terminated based on their performance and evolving market conditions.
“They didn’t make the cut,” he said. “And when the market slows down, I don’t need to be carrying the acquisitions people.”
Champion didn’t respond to Bisnow’s requests for an interview.
The market conditions have had an impact on Carroll’s business. In his interview with Bisnow to discuss putting his business up for sale, he said the firm’s floating-rate debt is “an issue” with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by 5% over the past year.
The multifamily industry where he made his fortune is facing some distress, with values down 21% from last year, according to Green Street, and rents plunging in the Sun Belt, where Carroll has focused his investments. But he said his business is healthy and the sale is a way to scale up, either by partnering with a bigger firm or selling entirely.
“The company’s my baby, so I would love to continue to be involved in whatever fashion makes sense,” Carroll said. “I hope the name Carroll doesn’t go away. I have a lot of pride in it.”