Rialto sues to recover $18M on Diamond District building after owner’s murder-suicide

Argentinian businessman Jorge Neuss allegedly defaulted on mortgage in June 2020

Jeff Krasnoff, CEO of Rialto, alleges that Neuss defaulted on his $19.5 million mortgage in June 2020 and never made another payment on the mortgage (Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Google Maps)
Jeff Krasnoff, CEO of Rialto, alleges that Neuss defaulted on his $19.5 million mortgage in June 2020 and never made another payment on the mortgage (Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Google Maps)

Rialto Capital is foreclosing on 33 West 46th Street, a 10-story office and retail building in the Diamond District. The property belongs to the estate of Jorge Justo Neuss, an Argentinian businessman who authorities said killed his wife and then himself late last year.

But even before the family tragedy, Neuss’ building was in trouble.

Neuss purchased the 34,500-square-foot building through an LLC in December 2009. He paid $11 million for the property, which Extell Development had acquired for $15 million just three years earlier as part of its International Gem Tower assemblage. After Neuss’ death last year, control of the building fell to his estate.

Rialto alleges Neuss defaulted on his $19.5 million mortgage in June 2020 and never made another payment on the mortgage after that. It also claims a host of technical, non-monetary defaults, including failure to properly maintain the building and allegedly adding an extra floor to the building without the lender’s permission.

Morgan Stanley originated the loan but assigned it to Wells Fargo in 2015. Wells Fargo declared the first default for missed payments in September 2020, but soon after the murder-suicide, the bank assigned the mortgage to Rialto. The Miami-based lender then declared the two non-monetary defaults last month and accelerated the entire debt the following day.

So it was that on August 27, Neuss’ entire debt on the building was immediately due.

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Now, Rialto is aiming to foreclose on the property and recover $18 million of outstanding principal, plus interest and late fees for the missed payments. If it succeeds, the firm plans to sell the property and use the proceeds to recover its money.

Keith Brandofino, the attorney for Rialto, did not return a request for comment. Neither did the Neuss Group.