Arnold Penner sued by son for “hoodwinking” him out of Tribeca deal

Jonathan Penner alleges real estate mogul pocketed millions by tricking him into selling 250 Church stake

TRD New York /
Feb.February 11, 2015 06:00 PM

Fathers are expected to guide their sons along in the family business. But real estate investor Arnold Penner is being accused by his son of duping him out of a multimillion-dollar stake in a Tribeca office building, according to an explosive new lawsuit.Jonathan Penner, who is seeking $27 million in punitive damages, is accusing his father of “hoodwinking” him, and fraudulently convincing him to sell his ownership stake in a 15-story office building for the bargain basement price of $300,000.

“In a shocking display of familial treachery, fraud and overweening greed, Jonathan’s father, Arnold, defrauded his son by inducing him into surrendering his valuable interest in certain real property,” the suit alleges.

Arnold Penner is a co-owner of the Midtown restaurant P.J. Clarke’s and a director at investment firm United Capital. He also is a minority investor in Terra Holdings, the private firm that owns brokerages Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens.

According to the suit, Jonathan owned a 32.5 percent stake in 250 Church Street, which Arnold bought in 1999 with developer and business partner Philip Pilevsky, the chairman of Philips International. It’s unclear what they paid for the 202,000-square-foot property, which is located at the intersection of Church and Leonard streets. But in 2006, among skyrocketing building values, Arnold and Pilevsky sought to cash out on their investment, the suit states.

Jonathan alleges that his father said at the time that his ownership stake “worthless as a result of certain liabilities” and urged him to sell his stake “right away before the liabilities became due and owing.” Jonathan said he trusted his father and Pilevsky, and he agreed to sell his stake for $300,000 – far below the market value, according to the suit. The building is near the Alexico Group’s glitzy 56 Leonard Street project.

The suit goes on to say that in April 2014, Jonathan learned that his father and Pilevsky refinanced the Church Street property just days before buying him out in 2006. In the suit, Jonathan  accuses them of obtaining a $27 million mortgage and keeping a portion of the proceeds for themselves.

Arnold Penner, Pilevsky and 250 Church Group LLC are named as defendants in the suit. A lawyer representing the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This summer, Arnold sold an Upper West Side parking garage to developer Miki Naftali’s the Naftali Group for $61 million. Naftali plans to build an 18-story condo building at the site.

Pilevsky once sought to buy the Empire State Building with Joseph Tabak of Princeton Holdings. The pair bid $2.1 billion for the tower in 2013.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Rachel Glazer (Credit: BHS)

BHS’ top Downtown agent jumps to Compass

BHS’ top Downtown agent jumps to Compass
BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup

BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup

BHS’ chief of tech, communications out amid internal shakeup
Bess Freedman and Robert Reffkin (Credit: Studio Scrivo)

“Unequivocally not selling:” BHS accuses rival of stoking sale rumors

“Unequivocally not selling:” BHS accuses rival of stoking sale rumors
29 Beekman Place and Princess Ashraf Pahlavi (Getty, Courtesy of Zillow)

Inside the battle for an Iranian princess’ Midtown mansion

Inside the battle for an Iranian princess’ Midtown mansion
The Papaya King at 179 East 86th Street (Google Maps)

Papaya King vs. the pretender: Iconic hot dog chain in ownership dispute

Papaya King vs. the pretender: Iconic hot dog chain in ownership dispute
2 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn and Vincent Viola (Google Maps, Getty)

Ex-Trump nominee broke rent stabilization laws at his Brooklyn Heights building: lawsuit

Ex-Trump nominee broke rent stabilization laws at his Brooklyn Heights building: lawsuit
A group of Westchester County landlords is suing over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s eviction moratorium. (Getty, iStock)

Landlord lawsuit: NY eviction ban violates our rights

Landlord lawsuit: NY eviction ban violates our rights
730 Park Avenue (Google Maps, Wikipedia)

British aristocrats sue to quit Park Ave purchase

British aristocrats sue to quit Park Ave purchase
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...