The Real Deal New York

Jack Sitt sues brother and demands a look at Sitt Asset’s books

Suit claims Ralph Sitt shorted the former executive out of firm's profits

November 19, 2014 03:03PM
By Kyna Doles and Claire Moses

From left: 450 Broadway, Jack Sitt and

From left: 450 Broadway, Jack Sitt and 240 West 40th Street

UPDATED, 3:30 p.m., November 19: Jack Sitt, a former principal at Sitt Asset Management, is suing the company and his brother Ralph Sitt, alleging that he was deprived of millions of dollars in distributions and commission and subjected to a “long series of abuses.” 

As a member of the Sitt family and a former executive at the company, Jack claims in the lawsuit — filed in New York Supreme State Court on Tuesday — that he is entitled to an equal share of Sitt Asset’s profits. He claims that each family member had a 20 percent stake in the enterprise.

Jack is suing “after a long series of abuses by his brother,” the lawsuit states. Ralph “usurped control” and has “frozen out” his brother, the suit alleges.

Adam Leitman Bailey, Ralph Sitt’s and Sitt Asset Management’s attorney on the case, called the lawsuit “frivolous” and “without merit.”

Midtown Manhattan-based Sitt Asset Management is a family-owned firm with a portfolio that includes office buildings, strip malls as well as residential developments.

Earlier this month, Jack formally requested to inspect the company’s records and demanded a response from Sitt Asset Management by or before November 13. After the company’s leaders — brothers Eddie, Ralph and David Sitt — didn’t get back to him, Jack was left with “no alternative” but to sue, according to court documents.

Bailey said that he has in fact provided Jack’s attorney and accountant with access to thousands of files for several months. “He’s gotten everything he asked for,” Bailey said. As far as the commission and distribution goes, the attorney added, “he had abandoned the business during that time.”

Jack claims that he is entitled to part of a $4 million profit from 450 Broadway, which Sitt Asset bought for $11 million in 2012 and leased out for $15 million the following year. Jack claims that he wasn’t made aware of the purchase, which was done partially with money in which he claimed to have interest. Ralph used the profits to help him acquire seven buildings for his own portfolio, the suit states. The suit further alleges that Jack had a stake and is entitled to part of the profits from the sales of 240 West 40th Street and 414 West 14th Street. Jack also claims he was entitled to a $1 million share from the sale of 1370 Broadway in 2011.

Jack, who founded his own firm Jack Sitt Real Estate LLC in 2012, is seeking to inspect Sitt Asset’s books and records dating back to 2006. “Mr. Sitt is entitled to know what has happened to his family’s businesses and his stake in them,” the suit states, adding that Jack wants to be in a position to “hold Ralph Sitt accountable for any injuries caused by the latter’s usurpation of the affairs of Sitt Asset Management and other family businesses.”

“I feel bad for him,” Bailey said. “He’s a desperate man who needs money to live a lifestyle he cannot afford.”

  • Fredo Corleone

    “I’m smart! Not like everyone says. Like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!”

  • Ronald Edelstein

    disputes put long established families in bad shape. clean up your act boys! the lawyers will be laughing all the way to the bank!

  • Herr Himmler

    Another case of (Syria) Jew vs. (Syrian) Jew.

  • Joseph Katz

    cruel! you guys are brothers

  • joey

    RALPH LOVE THE HOOKERS ,MAYBE CHECK HIS HOTEL BILLS AND CASH ADVANCES

  • Aneudi

    Jack Sitt, what a name. I’m sure he heard this one before…
    I’ve got news for you, pal, you ain’t leadin’ but two things right now: Jack & sh*t… and Jack left town.

  • Astute Observer

    Ok so this is interesting. Sitt Asset Management is being represented by attorney Adam Leitman Bailey. Bailey claims no distributions were withheld, and all documents were made available, despite ‘frivolous’ claims from the plaintiff.

    Here’s where shady lawyers get shady… Just three years ago, in a report covered by TRD, the same Adam Leitman Bailey represented a plaintiff who was suing Sitt Asset Management for misappropriation of funds. Bailey’s complaint through the proceedings? Getting “stonewalled” by Sitt when making document requests.

    Sounds like Leitman Bailey found the dark-side more appealing.

  • David Lohr

    These are good people who will develop the new Campus for Rite-Aid in Purchase
    New York.

  • Jessie Corc

    Adam Leitman Bailey is generally a bad guy – an unethical liar. If he’s involved is bad news all around

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