Joseph Aquino joins Swiss retail firm

Move comes as he wages legal battle with Douglas Elliman

Joseph Aquino
Joseph Aquino

Joseph Aquino, who was fired from Douglas Elliman after lobbing a lawsuit at the firm, is now heading to a Switzerland-based retail brokerage to head its North American operations.

Aquino is joining the Location Group to help lure luxury European retailers to the U.S., the Commercial Observer reported. The move comes a little more than a month after Aquino named his former partner, Faith Hope Consolo, in a lawsuit accusing Douglas Elliman of cutting him out of more than $1 million in commissions. The commissions, according to the lawsuit, were used to cover Consolo’s extravagant personal expenses, including spa treatments and cashmere sweaters.

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When Aquino [TRData] complained about the situation, Elliman chair Howard Lorber allegedly told him to stop, warning him he would be terminated and “blackballed” in the city’s real estate industry, his lawsuit alleges. Elliman terminated Aquino in March, just two days after he filed the lawsuit against the firm.

According to his lawsuit, Aquino had a 70 percent split on his deals, while Consolo negotiated only a 65 percent split when she started at the firm in 2004. Consolo though racked up a bevy of perks, including a travel and entertainment budget that reached up to $60,000 annually, Aquino alleged in the suit. The partners had worked together since 1989. [CO]  Kathryn Brenzel