Inside Marc Realty’s web of lawsuits

Disputed funds in five ongoing legal battles top $60M

Marc Realty Execs Face $60M in Claims Across Multiple Lawsuits

A photo illustration of Gerald Nudo and 55 East Jackson Boulevard (Getty, Marc Realty, Google Maps)

A tangled web of at least five ongoing legal battles totalling about $60 million in disputed funds have ensnared one of Chicago’s biggest commercial real estate owners, the locally based firm Marc Realty.

Two of the lawsuits filed in recent months, totalling $8 million in disputed funds, have not previously been reported in the media. In both of those lawsuits, separate business partners of Gerald Nudo have alleged the Marc Realty principal and at least one of his colleagues at the firm breached their fiduciary duties to investors in recent ventures.

The first previously unreported lawsuit was filed in September in Illinois federal court by Colorado-based investor Mark Iuppenlatz. The lawsuit states that he co-owned an architectural services firm called Proteus Group with Illinois-based business partners Frank Talbert and Todd Bryant.

Talbert and Bryant used loans secured from Inland Bank via Proteus for personal use and unrelated business purposes without Iuppenlatz’s knowledge, the lawsuit alleges. 

Nudo, via an affiliate of his company NW Loans, issued a loan to a Proteus affiliate for $650,000 at a 12 percent interest rate to help Proteus pay off a prior loan from Inland Bank, the lawsuit states. 

Talbert and Bryant allegedly secured the supplemental loan from the NW Loan affiliate without Iuppenlatz’ consent and with the understanding that Proteus Group would sign a lease at one of Marc Realty’s properties. 

NW Loans is owned by Nudo and Marc Realty principal Larry Weiner. Marc Realty is owned by Nudo, Weiner, Weiner’s brother and Nudo’s ex-wife Anne Voshel, and the firm owns a significant portfolio of downtown and suburban Chicago office buildings, including 134 North LaSalle Street, 17 North State Street, 11 East Adams and others.

Nudo also helped Bryant transfer all of Proteus Group’s assets to a new LLC without Iuppenlatz’s knowledge or consent, according to the lawsuit. Doing so left Proteus “an insolvent shell,” the lawsuit states. Iuppenlatz initially invested $1.2 million in Proteus.

Although Iuppenlatz had pursued arbitration in a separate case against Bryant and Talbert, he alleges in his latest lawsuit that Nudo interfered in the process. His newer lawsuit requests that a judge order Nudo and his associated companies to pay Iuppenlatz damages for their role in aiding Bryant and Talbert in their alleged self-dealing of $5 million of Proteus’ assets.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages and attorneys fees in an amount to be determined via arbitration. It also requests that any Proteus assets collected by Nudo or business entities he controls be placed in a trust. 

The allegations included that Nudo used “Marc Realty personnel, systems, and resources to substantially facilitate and assist in acts of fraud, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty.”

Nudo and Marc Realty filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, alleging Nudo had no knowledge of Bryant’s alleged misuse of funds and that the statute of limitations had passed on some of the other allegations. The case and the motion to dismiss are still pending.

Meanwhile, Nudo is suing Bryant over a separate allegedly unpaid loan seeking $317,000 from Bryant, Cook County court records show. That suit was filed in late April.

Legal representatives of each party didn’t return requests for comment, and Nudo declined to comment.

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The second previously unreported lawsuit was filed in Cook County court three months after the Iuppenlatz case was filed. An IT company called Innovative Networks that provides internet services to several Marc Realty properties alleges that the firm owes the company more than $3 million.

Nudo as well as fellow Marc Realty Principal Larry Weiner formed an LLC with a third business partner, Sergey Seleznev, to create Innovative Networks in 2007, the suit said. Seleznev does not have an ownership stake in Marc Realty. Seleznev owns a 50 percent stake in Innovative Networks while another company controlled by Weiner and Nudo called NW Loans owns a 50 percent share of Innovative.

NW Loans issued a loan to Innovative Networks that now totals $680,000, factoring in principal and interest, according to court documents. In June 2023, Marc Realty requested that Innovative Networks make a $30,000 payment to Marc Realty to reduce the loan balance.

Meanwhile, Seleznev alleges Marc Realty owes Innovative $3 million for IT services. 

Seleznev’s lawsuit alleges that Nudo and Weiner are breaching their fiduciary duties to Innovative by requesting the firm pay Marc Realty $30,000, while at the same time disputing Seleznev’s request that Marc Realty pay Innovative the nearly $3 million it is allegedly owed for IT services.

During the dispute, Seleznev grew frustrated with attorney Robert Carroll, who was representing Innovative, NW Loans and Marc Realty, all of which involved Weiner.

“The positions taken seem to be extremely contradictory and conflicted. This is an obvious result of Larry Weiner’s control over these issues and his desire to have Marc Realty not pay the bills owed to Innovative,” Seleznev’s legal counsel Mark Le Fevour said in an email to Carroll.

Seleznev is seeking about $4 million in damages and, if necessary, an order to buy him out from Innovative for $1.5 million.

The case was initially filed in December and amended in February. It is still pending. 

The two lawsuits join three recent court fights that The Real Deal previously reported between Marc Realty and Vesta Capital, and between Nudo and investor John Daley. 

Vesta Capital sued Marc Realty over a joint-venture between the two companies to buy and manage a multifamily property in Oklahoma, seeking about $75,000 in damages. Marc Realty then counter-sued. The case is pending.

Daley — who is unrelated to the former Chicago mayor’s family of the same last name — has been involved in several suits against Nudo over how to distribute $51 million in proceeds from the sale of a Chicago cold storage facility property on Kildare Avenue.

In a separate suit, Daley alleges he is owed a little more than $1 million for his share of the $53 million sale of six industrial properties that closed in 2016. He cited Nudo and Voshel’s divorce as part of the reason he hasn’t seen any of the money.

Nudo has argued Daley’s complaints should be dismissed, and won a previous ruling in federal court. But Daley’s complaints in Cook County court are still moving forward so far.