VE Equities’ Vella sued over payouts at 949 Park

April 13, 2012 03:00PM

A minority shareholder in The Company That Built A Park Avenue condominium filed a lawsuit against developer Zachary Vella, alleging he used shared funds to pay himself $740,000 interest on loans he never established making, reported.

The suit was filed in New York State Court by Benjamin Soleimani, a 15 percent shareholder in the holding company Vella’s VE Equities established to develop 949 Park Avenue. The condo’s exclusive marketers are Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Prudential Douglas Elliman, so it’s been featured lately on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

Soleimani claims he entered into an agreement with Vella and another minority shareholder that required Vella to provide them with regular accounting statements and made him liable for any improper personal benefit.

But Vella didn’t provided any accounting statements for three years ending Feb. 24, the plaintiff alleges, and that statement showed Vella paid himself and his holding company $740,000 in interest on $3.8 million in loans. The accounting statements also show that, unbeknownst to Soleimani, Vella paid his company $1.7 million in property management fees.

Soleimani is seeking his 15 percent share of the interest and management fees, which would total $360,000, a ruling that Vella violated his agreement and an order requiring him to prove he made those $3.8 million loans. [Law360]