SL Green, Cushman suing tenants with Frank Carone ties

Eric Adams’ former chief of staff co-founded firms accused of not paying rent

SL Green's Marc Holliday, Frank Carone and Cushman & Wakefield's Brett White (SL Green, Getty, Cushman & Wakefield)
SL Green's Marc Holliday, Frank Carone and Cushman & Wakefield's Brett White (SL Green, Getty, Cushman & Wakefield)

Frank Carone is no longer Eric Adams’ chief of staff, but controversy continues to dog him.

SL Green Realty and Cushman & Wakefield are suing two companies co-founded by Carone, the New York Daily News reported. Carone has said he is no longer involved with either company.

SL Green sued Financial Vision Group last spring over unpaid rent and utilities at a Sixth Avenue office. Carone co-founded the company, a health insurance investment business.

Financial Vision inked the lease at SL Green’s property in September 2019, a deal that includes Carone’s signature. But the company allegedly stopped paying rent in June 2020 and refused to vacate the premises for three months after the landlord terminated the lease in March.

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SL Green is seeking $730,000, plus interest and other fees. Carone told the Daily News he was unaware of the lawsuit and said the signature on the lease was not his handwriting, claiming his role in the company came to an end by June 2021.

In May, a judge ruled against Financial Vision regarding payments owed after the lease was terminated, which SL Green totaled to be about $180,000. SL Green has filed for a default judgment against the company for the remainder.

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In August, meanwhile, Cushman filed a civil lawsuit alleging Boca Partner Ventures II skipped out on $400,000 worth of commissions owed to the firm. Carone is listed as the company’s organizer.

The dispute is over a listing agreement for a property in Sheepshead Bay. According to the lawsuit, Boca agreed to pay Cushman a commission if it leased “any interest” in the property, which it allegedly did in October 2021 with Synergy Fitness Brooklyn.

Discovery in the case is expected to be completed by the end of May. Carone said he was unaware of the lawsuit or a summons served at his home days after the case was filed, noting the LLC is owned by a family trust that falls under a separate blind trust.

Carone, a lawyer and Brooklyn power broker for years before joining the Adams administration, has made headlines before. In 2019, he represented the notorious Podolsky brothers in a $173 million sale of 17 dilapidated apartment buildings to the city for well above appraised value. The de Blasio administration deal was criticized by government watchdogs.

Carone was also the managing partner of a medical company that allegedly accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent arrears while the landlord struggled to evict it. Carone cut ties with the company.

He is expected to spearhead Adams’ re-election campaign.

— Holden Walter-Warner