Faith Hope Consolo’s lavish spending habits are eating into her chief lieutenant’s commissions, he claims in a new lawsuit against Douglas Elliman.
Joseph Aquino, right-hand man to self-styled “Queen of Retail” Consolo, is suing the brokerage, alleging it improperly deducted over $1 million of his commissions to pay for Consolo’s extravagant personal expenses.
Aquino claims his commissions went to pay for his boss’ spa treatments, cashmere sweaters, beauty supplies, and her $100-a-day makeup session. She also allegedly bought kitchen towels and various other items at Neiman Marcus, and those expenses were also taken out of his commission, he claims in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court.
When Aquino complained about the situation, Elliman chair Howard Lorber allegedly warned him to stop, warning him he would be terminated and “blackballed” in the city’s real estate industry, according to the lawsuit.
Neither Aquino nor Consolo could be reached for comment.
An attorney for Elliman called the suit “a desperate effort by Mr. Aquino to get an undeserved payday.”
Aquino, who formerly managed a collection of Jack LaLanne fitness center franchises, joined Elliman in 2005. He has brokered deals for brands such as Hermes and David Yurman.
Aquino has a 70 percent split on his deals, while Consolo negotiated only a 65 percent split when she started at the firm in 2004, according to the lawsuit. But Consolo gets heaps of perks, including a travel and entertainment budget of up to $60,000 annually and a $1,000 a month allowance for car service.
Aquino’s gross commissions totaled $46,635 before deductions between Jan. 1 and March 31 2015, according to the suit.