Ben Shaoul: My parents’ $50M lawsuit against me resolved

Attorney disputes claim, says no binding agreement has been reached
By Julie Strickland | May 23, 2014 12:51PM

UPDATED, 5:13 p.m., May 23: Developer Ben Shaoul, head of Magnum Real Estate Group, told The Real Deal that he settled a legal battle with his parents, Abraham and Minoo Shaoul. The two accused the real estate mogul of misappropriating millions of dollars from the refinancing of mortgages on properties he co-owned along with them.

Though Shaoul sent out a press release Friday morning claiming the suit was settled, Abraham and Minoo Shaoul’s attorney Stephen Meister informed TRD that while the two parties are currently negotiating, no final agreement has yet been reached.

Shaoul told The Real Deal in an emailed statement that he and his parents have “put their differences behind them and reached an amicable resolution. Over the course of the last two years, they have reflected upon the source of the family discord, explored their respective positions and have agreed that legal action was ill-advised under the circumstances.”

Meister, however, told TRD that for the moment there is “no binding agreement on anything.”

“I would like to amicably settle it, but the truth is it’s not amicably settled yet because we haven’t reached an agreement,” Meister said. “There are still open terms and the parties are negotiating.”

Shaoul’s parents initially filed suit against the developer last year, accusing their son of maneuvering to pull payouts from the trio’s co-owned buildings without their consent. They requested permission to file an updated complaint on Feb. 12, and in total demanded damages of almost $50 million.

Through a spokesperson, Shaoul declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations.

Among the allegations leveled in the suit: Shaoul cheated his parents out of their interest in a Noho building they co-owned at 166 Elizabeth Street. The suit also alleged that he applied for a credit loan at 63 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side, receiving a direct reimbursement of $1.25 million about which his parents were allegedly not informed. In addition, the developer’s parents claimed that Shaoul deposited a $2 million payout from the refinancing of a family property at 173 Ludlow in a personal account without informing his parents.

In a previous statement to The Real Deal, Shaoul denied all of his parents’ allegations.

“This is a family matter that has nothing to do with any business dealings — rather, [it has to do with] the deterioration of my relationship with my mother,” Shaoul told TRD in February.