A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by onetime Douglas Elliman retail broker Joe Aquino against his former employer, claiming the company had withheld $1 million in commissions to pay for his former partner Faith Hope Consolo’s extravagant lifestyle.
The suit, brought by Aquino in March against Elliman and Consolo, alleged that his commissions went to pay for his boss’ spa treatments, cashmere sweaters, beauty supplies, and her $100-a-day makeup session. He also claimed that Elliman chairman Howard Lorber had cautioned him against complaining about the situation, threatening him with termination and saying he could be “blackballed” in the industry.
“The courts have confirmed what Kasowitz argued on behalf of Douglas Elliman from day-one, which is that the plaintiff’s claims had no merit,” said Mark Lerner of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, who represented Elliman in the case.
An attorney for Aquino was not immediately available for comment. Aquino has 20 days to re-plead his case against Elliman. Aquino’s claims against Consolo are still pending, her attorney said.
Elliman had argued that Aquino’s allegations against the company were “ever-changing” and a “manufactured attempt” to get more money and that he’d happily worked alongside Consolo for a decade without issue.
“He cannot unilaterally, and after-the-fact, decide that he wishes the economics of his compensation had been different,” the company said in court papers.
In July, it was reported that Aquino joined Switzerland-based retail brokerage the Location Group to head its North American operations.