Ex-Bayrock exec accused of “mob tactics” in lawsuit

Suit claims Jody Kriss -- now at East River Partners -- had consultant beaten up by the mafia

Jody Kriss
Jody Kriss

A former consultant for the real estate development firm the Bayrock Group has filed a $5 million civil lawsuit, accusing one-time Bayrock executive Jody Kriss of adopting “mob tactics” to retrieve his cut of money from a development deal.

Salvatore Lauria brokered an $85 million deal with Iceland’s FL Group in 2007 and acquired a $2.5 million commission. That deal prompted Kriss to arrange a physical attack on Lauria, according to the lawsuit. Then, in 2012, a member of the Mafia assaulted Lauria in a Brooklyn restaurant and said, “You’re dead. I’m going to kill you. You’re a rat. I did two years because of you.”

Bayrock was behind the Trump Soho in Manhattan and the $200 million, 24-story Trump International Hotel & Tower in Fort Lauderdale. Kriss is now a principal of East River Partners.

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Russian associates of Kriss reportedly referred to him as “Vort-on,” a reference to Kriss being an alum of the Wharton business school at University of Pennsylvania and an alleged “vor-in-law,” a slang term for thief-in-law, Lauria said in the suit, as cited by the New York Post.

“This is merely the latest in a string of increasingly desperate attempts to pressure me and other victims … to stop lawsuits they are losing. None of the bullying tactics will have any effect,” Kriss said in response to the suit. [NYP]Mark Maurer