A former business partner of Michael Besen and Amit Doshi has added another wrinkle to the ugly legal conflict between the two real estate veterans.
In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 21, Ram Gupta said he had equal ownership with Besen and Doshi at two unprofitable Bronx properties. The three of them had been trying to figure out how to dissolve their partnership and divide up the properties, at 624 East 220th Street and 655 East 223rd Street, since at least 2017, according to the lawsuit.
Gupta, founder of Bronx-based Chatam Management, wanted to end the partnership by marketing and selling the properties, but Besen resisted this move because he did not want to tell Gupta about his allegations against Doshi, the suit alleges. The lawsuit essentially argues that Besen was trying to pawn Doshi off on Gupta.
“Besen tried to foist his nemesis Doshi on Gupta, so Besen could walk away owning his parcels,” the suit says.
Attorneys for Gupta and Besen did not respond to requests for comment. Gupta declined to comment on the suit, and Besen and Doshi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Besen sued Doshi in June, accusing his former business partner of setting up a secret “Doshi Account” that he used to take almost $1.5 million from the investment sales firm for personal investments. He also claimed that Doshi tried to steal a property in Jackson Heights, and drove talented brokers away from the firm. He filed a court summons seeking injunctive relief and up to $10 million in damages. Doshi, a top broker, left for Meridian Capital Group in the summer not long after accusing Besen of mismanaging the company. The pair each owned 50 percent of Besen & Associates, according to Besen’s lawsuit.
Gupta’s lawsuit asks the court to end the partnership at the Bronx properties between him, Besen and Doshi, direct an accounting of the properties and sell them.
Although Doshi is not named as a defendant in the case like Besen, the suit accuses him of pursuing his own agenda as well.
“Doshi was long aware of Besen’s serious and detailed allegations against him…yet Doshi never disclosed them to Gupta, suggesting that Doshi too was pursuing his own undisclosed strategies, which contributed to the dysfunctionality of the [partnership],” the suit says.
The suit also claims that the Bronx properties “have not been economically productive and have been barely profitable if at all.”