The bickering bros: Jemals escalate battle over portfolio

Steven sued Alan and their mother over financial record access

Businessmen arguing with buildings
(Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)

A new lawsuit has joined the fray in Steven and Alan Jemal’s long-running feud.

Steven filed a lawsuit Monday accusing his brother and his mother, Ruth, of blocking access to financial records for nine companies associated with Jem Realty Management, the Commercial Observer reported. The company controls part of the family’s real estate assets, which include the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem among other commercial and retail holdings.

Overall, the family owns 9 million square feet across the East Coast.

The lawsuit’s goal is to force the two defendant family members to turn over bank statements, tax records and other financial information. Steven said in the suit he is entitled to the information because they’re all equal stakeholders.

Alan said the suit is meritless and claimed Steven has access to everything he wants.

The filing was the latest in the family’s legal wrangling over recent years. The brothers filed dueling lawsuits in 2020, each accusing the other of stealing from their companies. Their mother quickly sided with Alan in the dispute.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Read more

Alan and Ruth sued first, accusing Steven of stealing more than $650,000 from several management entities to pay off his personal American Express bill. The lawsuit also alleged Steven refused to pay back $84,000 in loans from their firm JSA Management, supposedly using the money to buy an Aston Martin.

Steven’s lawsuit alleged he asked his family members to negotiate a new management structure after becoming concerned about his brother’s actions. Steven said he requested access to the books and records, but only received limited documentation that allegedly revealed millions that had vanished without explanation.

Both brothers dropped their lawsuits last year. But Steven claimed in the latest filing that he was still not given full access to 2022 records and was forced to go through third parties to see them. Steven also claimed the family threatened to revoke access to his bank account.

— Holden Walter-Warner