New York real estate scion accuses brother of stealing family fortune.
A struggling real estate scion has been stealing income from his family’s Manhattan apartment building to pay off debts and maintain his lavish lifestyle, his brother claims in new court documents.
Third-generation real estate mogul Stephen Perlbinder alleges that his brother, Barton “Mark” Perlbinder “has for years dominated family businesses and used them as a piggy bank,” according to Stephen’s lawsuit in Manhattan’s Supreme Court filed Tuesday.
Stephen accuses Mark, the president of Perlbinder Realty, of using the cash to pay for the apartments he shares with his girlfriend, as well as to pay off debts and buy expensive cars, the lawsuit says.
In particular, Mark has been “self-employed” as he runs a family-owned apartment building on Sutton Place located at 400 East 54th Street, consisting of 228 residential apartments, four commercial units, and a 140-space parking garage, based on demand. .
Mark has made $ 13.4 million in proceeds from the sale of several apartments, which he was unable to split with Stephen and a family trust as was supposed, and instead used the money “to pay his own personal tax arrears,” he alleges. The document. .
The lawsuit says the siblings ‘parents’ fears that Mark would squander the family legacy with his extravagant lifestyle “have sadly come true in recent years.”
Mark’s legal and financial problems include a 2014 arrest for allegedly picking up cocaine and illegal prescription drugs from a bus in the Hamptons. The outcome of that case is unclear.
The court documents allege a host of other legal and financial problems. Mark owes $ 12.7 million in tax liens and judgments is $ 1.2 million behind on a divorce settlement and is being sued by co-investors in the 400 East 54th Street building, called Revere Condominiums, for allegedly failing to pay them their share after the sale. drives there, the newspapers say.
Regarding the earnings that Mark has made without separating from the family, he claims that he had an agreement with Stephen to “split” the sale of units based on who sold them. But Stephen claims the deal never existed, the lawsuit claims.
Mark also took a “brokerage commission” cut in the amount of $ 350,000 for the sales, even though they were made by real brokers, the lawsuit claims.
Meanwhile, there are still 64 units in the building that remain unsold, which have accumulated $ 6.5 million in back taxes and levies and for which Mark has no apparent plan of how to pay them, the filing alleges.
The wayward brother also put “his young girlfriend” in charge of the apartment rental broker despite his inexperience, instead of hiring “a more reputable team,” the lawsuit claims.
“As a result, vacancy rates have for years outpaced comparable properties,” the filing alleges.
“Mark’s incompetence is rapidly destroying the valuable investments his father tirelessly built over many decades,” the lawsuit states.
Stephen is asking a judge to stop his brother’s alleged business malpractices and wants Mark to pay him, the family trust, the building operator and the building sponsor a total of $ 143 million in damages.
Stephen’s attorney, Adam Stein, told The Post by email: “We have filed this lawsuit to put the family property back on solid ground.
“Our client wants to see this property professionally managed and Stephen will do his best to protect this fifty-year-old family property.”
“Our hope is that this lawsuit will preserve a longtime family property for the next generation,” Stein said.