Flamboyant San Antonio personal injury attorney Thomas J. Henry has been involved in his share of lawsuits, often touting in ubiquitous advertisements the multimillion-dollar awards his firm has won for clients.
It’s doubtful, however, that Henry’s ever had a role quite like the one he’s playing now in a case in state District Court in San Antonio.
Henry is bankrolling litigation brought by Evelin Crossland, minority owner of a San Antonio oil field services company, against the company, its majority owner and her husband, Drew Crossland, according to a recent court filing by Drew Crossland.
Evelin Crossland “is engaged in an extramarital and adulterous relationship with an affluential and infinitely wealthy attorney who is funding her litigious efforts to harass her estranged husband,” Drew Crossland’s June 29 filing stated.
Henry, 58, isn’t identified by name in the document, but he figures prominently in a court exhibit attached to the filing. It contains some of Henry’s social media posts showing him and Evelin Crossland, who turned 30 on Monday, flaunting their relationship.
One shows Evelin Crossland holding a glass of Champagne with a plate of caviar in front of her. The photo was posted Feb. 14 and captioned “My Valentine” with a heart emoji.
Henry and his representative didn’t respond to emails and a phone call seeking comment.
Eric Pullen, Evelin Crossland’s attorney, had no comment on whether Henry was funding her litigation or the nature of her relationship with Henry. The last photo Henry posted on Instagram of himself and Crossland together was March 11.
Henry is no stranger to the public eye. He may be best known for slick television commercials promoting his legal prowess — including ones that have shown him hopping from Learjet to Rolls-Royce as graphics tout the giant legal awards his clients have received and the massive fees his firm has pocketed.
He’s earned a reputation for throwing lavish parties. He “presented” a Maxim Super Bowl party in 2017 in the Houston area, threw a 56th birthday bash for himself in 2018 in Miami featuring entertainers Cardi B and DJ Khaled, and hosted a 25th anniversary party for his law firm at the Convention Center in 2018. Perhaps most famously, he spent $6 million on a quinceañera for his daughter, Maya, in 2016.
Henry also appeared with his family a couple of years ago in a YouTube reality series called “Hangin’ with Los Henrys,” which chronicled the goings-on in his household.
There’s another side to Henry — a prolific philanthropist who has helped dozens of causes, including food banks, and women and children’s shelters.
Evelin Crossland filed to divorce her husband July 3, 2019, almost two months shy of their 10th wed
Evelin Crossland sued her husband, Crossland Oilfield Services and three other companies in March alleging he has mismanaged the firms and diverted corporate funds for his own benefit. The company’s services include pipeline construction and drilling, according to its website.
Evelin Crossland owns 49 percent of Crosssland Oilfield, while Drew Crossland owns 51 percent, her lawsuit said. She had worked for the companies but has been “completely excluded” from them, the suit added.
Drew Crossland claims the companies are “financially depleted to such an extent that he has threatened to put (them) into bankruptcy,” she further alleged. She called assertions the companies are broke false.
“For the past three years, the Companies’ gross revenue exceeds $5,000,000.00,” the complaint added.
Yet she also alleged that Crossland Oilfield doesn’t have the resources to repay a $486,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan it received in April from San Antonio’s Jefferson Bank. Drew Crossland used $184,000 of the loan proceeds to pay past-due payroll taxes, she said, adding that she objected to the loan. Paying taxes is not one of the approved uses of the loan to have it forgiven.
Evelin Crossland wants the court to allow her to inspect the companies’ books and records.
In his June 29 response, Drew Crossland said Evelin Crossland’s action is “groundless” and filed in “bad faith.” He also alleged it is causing undue delay in the divorce proceedings and interfering with the companies’ operations.
Drew Crossland accused Evelin Crossland of trying to block the PPP loan, which he said was “crucial for, not only the company’s survival during the imminent oil crash, but also the continued employment of more than a dozen former United States military servicemen.” Data released this month by the Small Business Administration show the PPP loan allowed Crossland Oilfield to retain 30 jobs.
Drew Crossland also alleged Evelin Crossland destroyed his business relationship with Jefferson Bank by telling loan officers he was under investigation for fraud.
To support his claim that Thomas J. Henry is funding the litigation, Drew Crossland attached another exhibit that included some of Evelin Crossland’s bank statements. They show she received four deposits totaling $11,000 over a six-month period beginning Sept. 25. The name “Henry” appears in the highlighted description of each transaction.
“Purely funding somebody’s litigation, I don’t see how that would run afoul of any legal ethics,” said San Antonio attorney David “Clay” Snell, who is not involved in the litigation. “If (Henry) wants to gift her money to do whatever she wants with, there’s nothing at all wrong with that.”
Snell added the only time it would be a problem is if it was intended to circumvent or conceal a conflict. Drew Crossland didn’t raise any conflicts in his June 29 court filing.
Diamond De Leon, a Corpus Christi attorney representing Drew Crossland and the Crossland companies, declined to comment on the litigation.
“All I can speak about on my client’s behalf is that he’s a wounded Marine and his company, which he’s built from the ground up, they hire … wounded warriors,” De Leon said. “He’s a good guy.”
De Leon said he “couldn’t confirm or deny” whether the Crossland companies are still in business.
A hearing on Evelin Crossland’s request for a temporary restraining order to, among other things, prevent Drew Crossland from taking distributions from the companies and selling any assets had been set for July 6 but was subsequently dropped. Pullen, Evelin Crossland’s attorney, said the parties agreed to the entry of a TRO.
Meanwhile, the Henrys’ split is shaping up to be potentially as contentious as the Crosslands’ litigation.
Before a court hears the Henrys’ divorce, Thomas J. Henry wants a separate trial on “whether the parties have a common law marriage.” He didn’t elaborate on the request. Nueces County records, where the couple previously resided, show the Henrys married June 3, 1999.
In January, Azteca Henry’s lawyers served Thomas J. Henry with written questions. He made various objections to the questions and “failed to provide a single substantive answer,” one of her court filings alleged.
The first request she made: “State whether you have represented to any person since July 28, 2005, that you were married to Azteca CRAWFORD HENRY.”
In a February court filing, Thomas J. Henry alleged that Azteca Henry “misappropriated proprietary information” and provided confidential documents that originated with him or his firm to her counsel at the law firm Langley & Banack.
“It should be noted that Langley and Banack is a frequent legal adversary to (Thomas J. Henry) and, therefore, has been exposed to proprietary information behind the mask of their representation of (Azteca Henry),” he said in a motion seeking to be protected from his wife’s discovery requests.
Jo Chris Lopez, Azteca Henry’s attorney, didn’t respond to an email.
In a separate response to the divorce petition, Thomas J. Henry said the document “contains material misrepresentations” and “seeks remedies that are not available to her by law.” He wants the court to impose sanctions on his wife for filing court papers in “bad faith” and for the purpose of harassing him.
On July 1, Azteca Henry asked the court to compel Thomas J. Henry to answer her questions and order him to pay court costs and attorneys’ fees.
A hearing on her request is scheduled for later this month.