The Real Deal New York

Kriss, Bayrock agree to settle racketeering lawsuit after 8 years

Trump Soho developer was sued by ex-employee in 2010
February 22, 2018 06:47PM

Jody Kriss and Felix Sater (Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Max Pixel, Pixabay)

Jody Kriss agreed to settle his racketeering lawsuit against Trump Soho developer Bayrock Group, ending a nasty legal battle that stretched nearly a decade.

Kriss filed the lawsuit against his former employer in 2010, alleging that Felix Sater and Tevfik Arif’s real estate firm laundered money, evaded taxes and bilked him out of millions. The lawsuit led to years of legal proxy warfare between Kriss and Sater, who denied the accusations and labeled the former Bayrock finance director as a disgruntled ex-employee.

The two sides hammered out the settlement over several months, Bloomberg reported.

Bayrock developed the condo and hotel tower at 246 Spring Street, which got the name Trump Soho through a licensing deal with the Trump Organization. In his lawsuit, Kriss also alleged that Arif and Sater also defrauded the Trump Organization by not disclosing Sater’s 1998 racketeering conviction. In 2010 Trump, Bayrock and the Sapir Organization were sued for lying to prospective buyers about their sales success. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office later dropped the criminal investigation into the Trump scions.

The tower, now owned by Los Angeles-based private equity firm CIM Group, changed its name to the Dominick Hotel in December. [Bloomberg] — Konrad Putzier