Joseph Aquino’s claim that Douglas Elliman withheld $1 million in commissions to pay for his partner Faith Hope Consolo’s lavish lifestyle is nothing more than a “shake down,” the brokerage said in court documents filed July 29.
In a motion to dismiss the March lawsuit filed by Consolo’s former right-hand man, the brokerage calls Aquino’s allegations “ever-changing” and a “manufactured attempt” to wring more money from the firm by “fabricating new terms of engagement from whole cloth.”
For more than 10 years, Elliman argued, Aquino was “perfectly content” working alongside Consolo, who chairs Elliman’s retail division. “He cannot unilaterally, and after-the-fact, decide that he wishes the economics of his compensation had been different,” Elliman added, according to court papers.
In an Aug. 11 filing, Aquino fired back, saying “he’d been complaining about the proprietary expenses for quite some time — finally culminating in this lawsuit.”
In Aquino’s lawsuit, he alleged that Elliman deducted $1 million in commission payments to fund the Consolo’s spa treatments, cashmere sweaters, beauty supplies and $100-a-day makeup sessions. Aquino was fired from his position shortly after filing the suit, and he claims Elliman CEO Dottie Herman “barged into his office and ordered him out of the building.”
Later, Aquino filed court documents alleging Consolo was attempting to muscle in on his commissions by submitting false “split sheets” on a deal they completed together prior to his departure.
In its July 29 motion, however, Elliman argued that Aquino had yet to produce a valid contract as evidence that any agreement had been breached.