The Real Deal New York

Khodadadian claims Eastern owes commission on four deals

Broker fired after he allegedly sent explicit video to intern
By Guelda Voien | October 25, 2013 04:40PM

Former Eastern Consolidated broker Robert Khodadadian, who was fired for allegedly sending a lewd video to a female intern, has beefed up his claims against his ex-employer, contending that the brokerage stiffed him on commissions for sales worth $80 million.

Khodadadian had initially filed suit in August in Nassau County, but recently amended the court filings to include two additional deals that have closed since then. All told, the broker alleges he is still owed commissions on four deals, including the blockbuster $47 million sale of 711 Madison Avenue to Joe Sitt and Ashkenazy Acquisition, first reported by The Real Deal in May.

Eastern terminated Khodadadian in April over the cell phone video incident. A day after he filed the commission suit, the brokerage shot back with its own lawsuit seeking $1 million for his alleged breach of a provision in his independent contractor agreement that prohibits sexual harassment and for allegedly not returning company materials that constitute trade secrets.

He has since returned to a firm he owned before the recession, Skyline Properties, based in Great Neck, Long Island.

The other transactions mentioned in the suit include the leasehold at 2012-2018 Broadway, which Isaac Shalom of Manhattan-based landlord Madison Realty Management snapped up for $17 million in September; 216-218 East 36th Street, a three-building multi-family portfolio that traded in September to an entity called MMJ Realty 36 LLC; and 353 West 48th Street, a recording studio that sold for $11 million to 353 W48 Partners LLC in August.

Adelaide Polsinelli, a prolific broker with Eastern, partnered on the listings with Khodadadian, according to marketing materials still available online.

Khodadadian, who declined to comment on the litigation, maintained in court papers that he did not violate his contract, and that Eastern’s policy is to pay listing brokers even after termination.

According to the compensation scheme mentioned in the suit, he is owed 25 percent of whatever commission Eastern received for the four trades. Khodadadian’s attorney, Laleh Hawa of an eponymous law office, declined to comment.

“Robert Khodadadian chose to violate Eastern Consolidated’s policy by engaging in highly inappropriate conduct in the workplace,” Howard Rubin of Goetz Fitzpatrick, an attorney for the firm, said in a statement. “He breached his agreement with the company. While Mr. Khodadadian’s departure from Eastern Consolidated is highly atypical, the unfortunate circumstances surrounding it were completely avoidable. Needless to say, Eastern Consolidated does not owe Robert Khodadadian a penny.”