Douglas Elliman’s Joseph Aquino, right-hand man to retail chair Faith Hope Consolo, has been terminated from his position at the company over claims Elliman stiffed him on commissions.
“Mr Aquino was terminated yesterday,” Cindy Salvo, an attorney for Aquino, told The Real Deal.
The broker’s departure comes just two days after Aquino filed suit against the firm, alleging it improperly deducted over $1 million of his commissions to pay for Consolo’s extravagant personal expenses. Some of his commissions went to pay for his boss’ spa treatments, cashmere sweaters, beauty supplies, and her $100-a-day makeup session, he claimed in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court.
Aquino also claimed that when he approached Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber about the commissions, Lorber threatened to “blackball” him from the industry if his complaints continued.
“Douglas Elliman took more than a million dollars in deductions from Mr Aquino over the years while refusing to itemize or provide backup documentation for these deductions, and threatening to terminate him and blackball him in the industry if he complained,” Salvo told TRD Saturday. “Deductions for Consolo’s personal expenses were just a small part of the improper deductions taken from Mr Aquino’s commissions.”
In a statement sent late Friday, Marc Kasowitz, an attorney for Elliman, called the suit “a desperate effort by Mr. Aquino to get an undeserved payday.”
“Mr. Aquino’s alleged statements about Mr. Lorber are equally false, defamatory and desperate,” he said.
A spokesperson for Elliman wasn’t immediately available for comment on the termination.