Miami broker claims he was squeezed out of $17M land sale

From left: Emile Farah and Amram Adar
From left: Emile Farah and Amram Adar

A short-lived partnership between Miami real estate broker and investor Emile Farah and Aventura businessman Amram Adar ended on a sour note when Farah sued Adar over a $17 million land sale in North Miami Beach.

Farah, who runs USA Lending and Realty, claims in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court lawsuit that the 18-acre land deal was part of a joint venture he and Adar formed in 2013 to acquire and flip properties. In the Sept. 24 complaint, Farah and his attorney Robert Stok state that Adar promised the broker a 10-percent equity stake and a 3-percent commission fee in these deals. Stok told The Real Deal Farah is owed at least $500,000 for the broker fee and “seven figures” for his equity stake.

Adar and his brother-in-law Jacob Elharar, who is also named in the suit, control the Delaware-registered company Moore 77 LLC that bought the land at 15780 West Dixie Highway. They purchased the acreage from Tampa-based Antigua at NMB Development, according to the suit.

Adar told TRD he is unaware that Farah is suing him and Elharar. He denied the North Miami Beach land was included in his partnership with Farah.

“I never gave him a promise of 10 percent on that property,” Adar said, adding that Elharar owns 100 percent of Moore 77. “I believe Emile is due a referral fee and the buyer, my brother-in-law, offered him $25,000.”

According to Farah and Stok, the partnership between the broker and Adar focused on properties in Brickell and surrounding neighborhoods. Eventually, they branched out as far north as Fort Lauderdale and as far west as Naples. The lawsuit claims the ex-partners had numerous contracts to buy properties together.

Adar, who moonlights as a wedding singer and released an album in 2011, disputes that claim.

“Nothing happened with those deals,” Adar said. “We always tried to do something, but it didn’t work out.”

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Farah said Adar took advantage of him by working out of his Brickell office and using his real estate connections. In the case of this deal, Farah claimed that in March, Boynton Beach-based real estate broker Rick Marchetta came by the office, inquiring if Farah had any listings in the neighborhood. Farah said he instantly recognized Marchetta as the broker who represented Antigua, the previous buyer of the 18-acre lot. In 2004, Farah represented a former owner who flipped the land to Marchetta’s client, who paid $6.1 million for the designated brownfield site. The land was previously used by a gas distributor and would require state-mandated environmental remediation before redevelopment can occur.

Marchetta “told me he had it listed and that his client was looking to sell it,” Farah said. “I introduced him to Adar.”

When reached by TRD, Marchetta declined comment, citing the pending lawsuit.

Farah said he allowed Adar to handle negotiations, never suspecting he was going to get cut out of the deal.

“He was still working out of my office when they closed,” Farah said. “He kept promising to bring me the check. Then he disappeared.”

A summons was issued to all defendants in the case on Sept. 29, according to court records.