The Real Deal New York

Broker sues Massey Knakal, Goldman sues Moinian and RCDolner sues Alexico

July 09, 2009 02:29PM
By Adam Pincus

alternate textS. David Jagarnauth is seeking $184,000 plus interest from Paul Massey’s (right) Massey Knakal for the sale of 44-30 Macnish Street in Queens.

In three separate lawsuits filed last week, an independent broker is suing Massey Knakal Realty Services for $184,000; Goldman Sachs Group is seeking $3.1 million in lease commissions from the Moinian Group and contractor RCDolner claims Alexico Group owes it more than $600,000 in construction payments at the Oliver.

Broker sues Massey Knakal

An independent broker is suing investment sales brokerage Massey Knakal Realty Services for nearly $200,000 in commission fees for a 66-unit Queens apartment building sold in 2006.

S. David Jagarnauth is seeking $184,000 plus interest from Massey Knakal for the buyer’s commission on the $12 million sale of 44-30 Macnish Street in Elmhurst, Queens, in September 2006, a complaint filed July 2 in New York State Supreme Court says.

The lawsuit, with charges including breach of contract and unjust enrichment, comes three years after the sale closed. Jagarnauth’s attorney John Desiderio of law
firm Adam Leitman Bailey said the broker tried for two years to obtain
the payment through phone calls and letters, but was rebuffed.

Paul Massey, CEO of Massey Knakal, said they have put the money aside and conceded a commission needed to be paid. He said the confusion was who was owed the commission and whether Jagarnauth was a licensed broker. It is illegal to pay a brokerage fee to an unlicensed broker.

“From the outset we suspected we owed someone a brokerage fee related to this transaction. We have set aside the money, but there are many questions of fact related to who the buyer was and who the broker was and we hope to resolve those expeditiously,” Massey said. He said the parties were attempting to reach a settlement today.

Jagarnauth was included as the co-broker in a 2003 contract of sale for the property but that contract was abandoned. His name was improperly removed from the 2006 sale contract that was ultimately used in the sale, the complaint says.

A person named Sookdeo Jagarnauth was first licensed as a broker in 2003 and is currently licensed, according to the state Department of State. Desiderio said Jagarnauth is a licensed broker.

Massey Knakal brokered the fifth highest dollar volume of sales in New York City last year with $1.3 billion, according to data from CoStar.

Goldman Sachs sues Moinian entity

In another commission-related lawsuit, this time Downtown, Goldman Sachs Group is suing Almah LLC, a Moinian Group entity which owns 180 Maiden Lane, for $3.1 million, according to a July 2 filing in New York State Supreme Court.

Goldman Sachs claims in the breach of contact suit that it is owed the commission fee for finding a new tenant — AIG Employee Services — to occupy its space in 2008.

The finance firm saved the landlord costs related to finding a new tenant, the complaint says, and has not been paid. Moinian Group did not immediately have a comment.

RCDolner sues Alexico Group

In a third lawsuit filed last week, general contractor RCDolner claims developer Alexico Group and other entities still owe it $609,284 — after making a $300,000 payment — for construction and renovation work performed at 951 First Avenue between 52nd and 53rd streets, between May 2008 to March 2009, but has failed to pay.

The developer is building a 161-unit luxury condominium called the Oliver at 959 First Avenue, which includes 951 First Avenue among seven parcels. Alexico Group did not immediately have a comment.

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