A federal judge dismissed a $100 million lawsuit that Alex Sapir filed against his former real estate business partner Rotem Rosen, which alleged Rosen siphoned off tens of millions of dollars and stole trade secrets.
The same judge allowed two of Rosen’s claims tied to his multimillion-dollar buyout agreement with Sapir — who leads Sapir Organization — to move forward.
But the tangle of lawsuits the two men and former brothers-in-law have filed against each other over the years has gotten so knotted that both sides are now claiming victory. The only certainty is the ongoing court battle that will follow the latest rulings.
In her decision on Friday, District Court Judge Ronnie Abrams said Sapir failed to show the existence of protected trade secrets in his July 2020 lawsuit, and did not identify which of the documents were trade secrets and which were confidential or proprietary information. Her dismissal, without prejudice, means Sapir can refile or amend his complaint.
The trade secrets claim is one of 11 that Sapir alleges against Rosen and his brother Omer, who was Sapir Org’s general counsel. The judge dismissed the suit, saying because only the trade secrets claim fell under her jurisdiction.
Sapir and Rosen mostly parted ways in 2017. That’s when Sapir agreed to a $75 million buyout of his former partner. Two years later, Rosen and Sapir’s sister divorced. Months after that, Rosen filed a $103 million lawsuit against the estate of the late Tamir Sapir — who was Alex’s father — claiming he was owed more in the buyout.
In a related filing last year, Rosen alleges that Sapir defaulted on a $60 million promissory note connected to the buyout. Judge Abrams allowed two of Rosen’s six claims in that filing to proceed.
Commercial Observer first reported on Friday’s court rulings.
Rosen’s attorney called the rulings the “latest in a string of defeats” for Sapir. Sapir’s attorneys said they were “pleased with the court’s decisions,” which allows them to amend or refile their complaint. Sapir plans to refile the case in either state or federal court, according to his law firm, Oved & Oved.
Rosen’s attorney, Sheron Korpus of Kasowitz Benson Torres, said if Sapir refiles, “then we’ll move to dismiss it.”
Rosen’s latest claim alleges Sapir defaulted on the $60 million note connected to his $75 million buyout. Of that amount buyout, $15 million was paid upfront while the remainder was to be paid over 15 years. If Sapir broke the agreement, his remaining debt to Rosen would become “immediately payable,” court documents show. The alleged default was caused by the mezzanine refinancing of an entity that owns 1 million square feet of office properties at 260-261 Madison Avenue in New York, which guaranteed Sapir’s debt to Rosen.
Rosen’s two claims the judge allowed to move forward were: The contention he is entitled to the full unpaid portion of the buyout, and his allegation Sapir violated the covenant of good faith and fair dealing because he refused to disclose the refinancing.
Judge Abrams dismissed Rosen’s other claims.