A former broker in Newmark Knight Frank’s debt and finance group stole company information on his way out the door and then shared it with a competitor, the brokerage claims in a lawsuit.
Steven Sperandio, who started working at the firm in early 2016, violated the terms of his confidentiality agreement by sending “vast amounts” of highly confidential documents to his personal email address and Dropbox account before he left the company earlier this month, according to a lawsuit Newmark filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Sperandio informed his supervisors on July 9 that he intended to leave the company, and Newmark terminated him on that day.
But the brokerage claims Sperandio stole call logs containing lender contact information and the level of interest financing sources showed on specific transactions — essentially the information that gives the debt and finance group its competitive advantage in the marketplace.
“By reviewing these call logs, a competitor could take advantage of all of this work and unfairly compete with Newmark & Co.,” the firm’s attorneys wrote in court documents.
Newmark believes that Sperandino “has disclosed this information to at least one of the company’s competitors in the debt and equity financing marketplace,” according to its lawsuit.
A representative for Newmark declined to comment and Sperandio could not be immediately reached.
Newmark, which went public in December, is looking to recoup all the compensation and benefits paid to Sperandio “during the period of his disloyalty.”
Newmark’s debt group in just the past two years has grown significantly. The company ranked third last year among the city’s top debt brokerages with $3.46 billion worth of loans brokered in 2017.