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Ex-partners in New York City real estate business spar over money

A Manhattan real estate mogul is suing his former business partner, seeking a payment of more than $200,000 in judgments from settled lawsuits, which is just the beginning of what the plaintiff contends he is owed.

It's the latest lawsuit from the former chief executive officer (CEO) of a Manhattan real estate firm against the company's president.

According to the filing in a New York court, the opinion of the plaintiff it that the defendant is hiding money and "has secreted millions of assets through a complex labyrinth of associates, closely held corporations, limited liability companies, and charities in an attempt to thereby render himself insolvent as to avoid the consequences of certain litigated matters."

The president is alleged to have transferred nearly $4.5 million in cash and art to a nonprofit foundation he controls to hide the assets. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendant has transferred more than $1 million worth of real estate out of his name.

"He's moving money and assets around so that it is not in his name so that it is difficult, if not impossible, for his creditors to get a hold of it," the plaintiff's attorney told the New York Post.

The defendant called his former partner a "serial fraudster," adding "I'm beating him (legally) so he keeps trying to scare me away."

There also are claims of at least one physical altercation.

The situation, in short, is a mess.

It's not known exactly how the relationship between the two men deteriorated the way it did, but one thing is certain. Once a partnership is formed, all parties involved should consult with their own attorneys, who then can work together to forge a partnership agreement that is acceptable to all. Your business is your livelihood, and you want to make sure it remains protected.

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