Former South Florida bank chairman sues over Miami Gardens shopping center partnership

Lawsuit alleges business partner engaged in intimidation tactics and breach of agreement
By Keith Larsen |
Research by Haru Coryne
May 07, 2019 06:15PM

The shopping center (Credit: Google Maps)

The shopping center (Credit: Google Maps)

Guy Lazzeri, the former chairman of Home Federal Bank of Hollywood, is suing his business partner in a Miami Gardens shopping center, alleging intimidation tactics and breach of a shareholders agreement.

According to the suit, filed last month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Lazzeri received a heated email from his partner Peter Izaak in April over a refinancing for the shopping center at 18400 Northwest Second Avenue in Miami Gardens.

“THIS MORTGAGE IS JUST ABOUT DUE,” Izaak wrote. “YOU F*CKED THE BANK LAST TIME. BUT THEY CAUGHT YOU NOW… “50 PLUS YEARS IN BANKING AND A LOSER.”

The lawsuit stems from a partnership Izaak, Lazzeri and another party had in the 30,000-square-foot Miami Gardens center. Lazzeri claims he owns 25 percent in the partnership, while Izaak owned 50 percent, according to the complaint.

Lazzeri alleges that Izaak is making Lazzeri personally guarantee a refinancing of the loan, something he claims he is not entitled to do.

The suit also alleges that Izaak is not providing Lazzeri financial information, including information about who the lender is, the amount of the loan and the purpose of the refinancing. Izaak did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lazzeri was the chairman and CEO of one of the area’s smallest and most troubled community banks. Home Federal Bank of Hollywood was hit with compliance violations of the Bank Secrecy Act by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency in 2012, and it continued to struggle with maintaining its capital levels over the years.

Lazzeri stepped down as chairman after a 2012 lawsuit filed by Russian investor Dmitry Khorimskiy that alleged he mismanaged the bank. It was dismissed after the bank changed its board of directors.