Fired CEO Richard Marin sues Africa Israel

Richard Marin, the ousted CEO of developer Africa Israel USA, is suing his former employer for $1.25 million plus damages over an alleged breach of contract, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to court papers filed last week, Marin, who was hired in late 2008, said Africa Israel fired him “in order to cover up wrongdoing that the executive discovered and reported” without paying him the bonus he deserved. Africa Israel has denied the charges — accusing Marin of trying to sue his way out of paying back a $500,000 loan to the company — and said it plans to file a motion to have the case dismissed.

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The $500,000 loan, by Marin’s account, was granted to him in May 2010 because the company hadn’t yet paid him the $1.25 million bonus he had been promised in 2009.

Meanwhile, Marin alleges that the company transferred its pricey management contract at 23 Wall Street to two companies run by Africa Israel insiders even though “there was no legitimate business reason to do that.”

An attorney for Africa Israel countered that the company relinquished its building management responsibilities there because China Sonangol, which acquired the building from Africa Israel in 2008, “was extremely displeased with the property management services.” [WSJ]