The Real Deal New York

Eastern Consolidated wants $1M from broker who allegedly sent dirty video to intern

Brokerage and ex-agent Robert Khodadadian have traded salvos in court
By Adam Pincus | August 14, 2013 03:30PM

The commercial brokerage firm Eastern Consolidated sued former agent Robert Khodadadian, claiming he sent a sexually explicit video to an intern, violating company policy.

The Midtown firm is seeking $1 million for breaching a provision in his independent contractor agreement that prohibits sexual harassment, and is asking a judge to block his use of allegedly confidential trade secrets, according to the suit filed today in New York State Supreme Court.

Khodadadian allegedly texted a video to one of Eastern’s female interns that showed him masturbating, though his face is not on camera — a charge that recalls the actions of New York City mayoral candidate and former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

The suit comes a day after Khodadadian filed his own lawsuit against Eastern in Nassau County, asking a judge to enforce payment of what he says he is due in commissions, the court filing says.

Khodadadian declined to comment on either lawsuit, but said he believed the firm owed him money, “and this is the first time they responded to me, so I am assuming this is their way of countering.”

The 31-year-old mid-level broker launched his own Great Neck, L.I.-based firm Skyline Properties in 2006, after working for two years at Massey Knakal Realty Services. Then in March 2012, Eastern hired him as an associate broker.

He took the position at Eastern to work with one of the city’s most influential real estate professionals, Adelaide Polsinelli, who moved to Eastern from Marcus & Millichap in March 2012.

Eastern said in court papers that it fired Khodadadian on April 26 because the firm considered the video a form of sexual harassment. He would neither confirm nor deny that he sent the video.

At the time, he was told to return company materials, such as customer lists and deal information, that were considered trade secrets and, therefore, Eastern’s property, the suit says. Despite that warning, he took such information for his own use, the complaint alleges.

In June, he told The Real Deal that he had restarted Skyline.

Khodadadian’s suit, which The Real Deal reviewed, said there were two deals in Manhattan on which he is owed commissions, based on Eastern’s policy governing former agents. The firm had not responded to his queries about his fees, despite his and his attorney’s efforts to contact them, the suit says.

Eastern is placing an unspecified amount of money into escrow that may be due Khodadadian in commissions, said Howard Rubin, a partner at the law firm Goetz Fitzpatrick, who is representing Eastern.

“Ordinarily, our policy is that a broker who was terminated would be entitled to a percent of commissions, but in this case, because of the wrongdoing, we think our damages are more than what he is owed in commissions,” Rubin said.

Eastern declined to comment.