The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach developer settles suit over $10M NY judgment

Ophir Sternberg reached agreement with Israel native Barouch Saar on 2002 mortgage

August 14, 2014 10:30AM
By Francisco Alvarado

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Ophir Sternberg, Michael Feinstein and Alan Kluger

Ophir Sternberg, Michael Feinstein and Alan Kluger

Miami Beach developer Ophir Sternberg settled a lawsuit related to a mortgage he obtained for a New Jersey apartment complex that he built early in his career, The Real Deal has learned.

The settlement puts an end to heated litigation over a $10 million judgment awarded to Barouch Saar in New York in 2011. Sternberg told TRD he resolved the dispute in a recent face-to-face meeting with Saar.

“We put our differences aside,” Sternberg said. “Now, he is looking to possibly invest in future deals my companies are involved in.”

Neither Sternberg nor his attorney, Alan Kluger, would disclose settlement details. Attorney Michael Feinstein, who represented Saar, declined comment.

The Miami-Dade Circuit Court lawsuit was officially dismissed by Judge Victoria Sigler last month.

“Both sides are happy with the settlement,” Kluger told TRD.

The New York judgment stemmed from an $825,000 loan Saar gave to Sternberg in 2002 and the accrual of monthly interest at a 2 percent rate. The litigation was moved to Miami-Dade Circuit Court two years ago. Around the same time, Sternberg appealed an order to produce certain corporate documents at the Third District Court of Appeal, also in Miami.

Saar’s loan was a second mortgage on the apartment complex located in Newark, New Jersey. Today, Sternberg runs Miami Beach-based real estate investment and development firm Lionheart Capital. Saar, who is from Israel, claimed he did not receive any money back from Sternberg for the loan. That’s why the amount owed skyrocketed between 2002 and 2011.

When TRD first reported about the acrimonious dispute in January, Kluger blasted the loan’s interest rate as “usurious,” while Feinstein criticized Sternberg allowing the dispute to drag out for so long.

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