The Real Deal New York

Bellmarc founder Neil Binder allegedly misused company funds

$2M suit could endanger Coldwell Banker franchise deal
August 26, 2014 04:20PM

Neil Binder, co-founder of the Bellmarc Group, is being sued by his business partners for allegedly embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court papers.

Larry Friedman and Anthony DeGrotta, Binder’s business partners, filed papers on Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, stating that Binder allegedly used the company’s funds as “his personal piggy bank.” The business partners are looking to receive $2 million in damages. Bellmarc could be in danger of losing its franchise deal with Coldwell Banker and the embezzlement the suit alleges could cause tax problems for the company.

The funds Binder allegedly took out of the company account — in one case an escrow account that was used for employees’ health insurance premiums, according to the court papers — were  used to support a “lavish lifestyle” and pay “personal debts,” according to court papers cited by the New York Daily News.

Binder’s debts include the mortgage on his luxury co-op in Westhampton and rent on his $11,950-per-month Apartment On East 90th Street.

The suit also alleges that Binder has “issues” with his female employees, according to the Daily News, and claims he used Bellmarc resources to improperly pay his wife, sister and daughter.

Binder did not immediately respond to the Daily News’ calls or emails seeking comment. [NYDN] — Claire Moses