Town Residential is again suing Reid Price, alleging that the former head of new development emptied his bank accounts to avoid making court-ordered payments to his former firm.
In its complaint, filed Wednesday, Town alleges that when it attempted to collect its money, Price transferred $60,000 of the funds in his account to his neighbor and friend, Luis Jose Hernandez.
In total, Town is owed more than $613,000, according to court documents.
“Price claims he made the transfer because, over the previous three years, Hernandez walked his dog and invited him for dinners,” the lawsuit states. “Price waited to make the conveyances, however, until after [Town] had a judgment entered against him and began collection efforts on the judgment.”
Town sued Price in April 2013 after he quit to join rival firm Douglas Elliman. That lawsuit claimed Price owed Town $460,000, plus interest, for loans made while he was employed by the brokerage. Price filed a counterclaim, alleging that Town owed him $490,000 in commission payments, but the counterclaim was dismissed.
In August of this year, a court ruled in favor of Town and ordered Price to repay the loans plus interest. Price subsequently filed an appeal on Aug. 31, according to court records.
The latest suit from Town alleges that on Aug. 25, Price wrote a check to Hernandez from his business account for $50,000, leaving just $7,704 in the account. The same day, the suit alleges, Price wrote another check to Hernandez for $10,000 from his personal account.
In a September deposition, Price acknowledged that he was in “dire financial straights” when he transferred money to Hernandez, the suit claims.
“Nonetheless, he chose to transfer nearly all of his remaining liquid assets and to give them away,” the suit states.
The suit, which also names Hernandez as a defendant, said the neighbor was aware of Price’s legal obligation. Nevertheless, “Hernandez accepted $60,000 from Price, even though Price did not owe him any money at the time, to assist Price in hiding assets from plaintiffs and avoiding the impact of a restraining notice,” the suit states.
A spokesperson for Town said the firm has “acted ethically and in good faith from the onset. We are merely seeking collection of monies that are owed and were awarded to us by the court. This is not personal.”
Price declined to comment. Douglas Elliman also declined to comment on the litigation.