The Real Deal Miami

Investor says kids ‘siphoned’ his real estate fortune

Burt Handelsman seeks $960,000 of damages in suit against his son, two daughters

July 10, 2016 10:00AM

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Burt Handelsman (Credit: Palm Beach Daily News)

Burt Handelsman (Credit: Palm Beach Daily News)

Real estate investor and Palm Beach resident Burt Handelsman alleges in a lawsuit that his children misappropriated money from his fortune.

Handelsman, whose holdings include multiple properties on Worth Avenue and South County Road filed suit last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against his son and two daughters.

His suit seeks damages totaling $960,000 and alleges that his children “siphoned” funds from his companies “for their personal gain” by forging their father’s signature on company checks and distributing unauthorized company payments to themselves.

According to Handelsman’s suit, the unauthorized payments increased when his wife, Lucille Handelsman, filed in March to divorce him. They have been married for 67 years.

The plaintiffs in the suit are three companies that Handelsman controls: Love 411 LLC, Love in Greenwich LLC and Pier Associates.

The defendants are Handelsman’s son Steven Handelsman, his daughters Sandy Heaslip and Marsha Stocker, and his son-in-law James Stocker.

Also named a defendant is New York-based Love Realty Management, headed by CEO Steven Handelsman.

The suit charges that the “defendants have worked together to allow themselves to wrongfully benefit from the income of the approximately half-billion dollar real estate empire that their father … built from scratch.” [Palm Beach Daily News] — Mike Seemuth