UPDATED, 6:00 p.m., Aug. 21: Azad Property Group is accusing former broker Dennis Gelin of breaking into the firm’s office and stealing sensitive documents mere hours after he was fired.
But Gelin has shot back at the claims, calling them “all lies” and expressing his intention to file a wrongful termination suit against the company.
Gelin appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court this week to face misdemeanor charges that he broke into Azad’s office on the night of July 30, taking his work computer’s hard drive and other documents after being informed of his dismissal earlier that day.
Azad partner Barry Farchi told The Real Deal he believes Gelin lifted the hard drive and documents as he pursued a new venture with Entrepreneur Properties chief Ami Efrati, who once worked with Farchi and Gelin at Itzhaki Properties. He added that Azad fired Gelin largely over performance-related issues.
“The guy kept slacking and it got to the stage where enough was enough and we didn’t want his services anymore,” Farchi said.
In response, Gelin — who had been with Azad since the firm’s founding in 2011 — told TRD that he “had keys” to the office and only retrieved his own personal belongings. “I basically left, got my things and now they’re trying to file these false charges of burglary,” he said.
“I’m taking my own [wrongful termination] action against them,” Gelin added. “The truth will come out.”
While Gelin’s broker’s license is now registered with Entrepreneur Properties, according to Department of State records, he told TRD that he “there was no intention of me going to Entrepreneur” before he was fired by Azad.
Farchi said he plans to file felony burglary charges against Gelin, and also wants the broker’s real estate licensed revoked. Gelin’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 22.
Former Azad partner Andrew Feldman sued the brokerage for $20 million last year, alleging that partners Farchi and Mansour Tabibnia forced him out of Azad.