LeFrak heir loses appeal of $5M fraud lawsuit

Argued that lawyer's "blowhard" remark was unfair; judges OKed judgment

Jamie LeFrak and 20 Newport Parkway in Jersey City
Jamie LeFrak and 20 Newport Parkway in Jersey City

The Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court approved a $4.8 million judgment against LeFrak Organization heir Jamie LeFrak on Monday in a condominium development fraud lawsuit.

LeFrak was accused of defrauding 16 owners of condominium units at Shore South at 20 Newport Parkway in Jersey City. The developer was constructing a high-rise in front of the complex, blocking the “unparalleled waterfront views” that the new tenants claimed salespeople had promised. 

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LeFrak filed an appeal of a jury award in 2011, arguing that the lawyer for the condo owners unfairly depicted him as a wealthy “blowhard.” A three-judge panel said the lawyer’s remarks were fair given the evidence, the New York Post reported.

“While the term ‘blowhard’ may have been ill-advised, it clearly referenced LeFrak’s bragging and boasting about the ‘surprising views’ … at the same time plans were moving ahead to build the 31-story Aquablu,” the judges said.

In 2011, the judge also ordered LeFrak and his firm to pay $1 million in legal fees, as previously reported. [NYP]Mark Maurer