Yankees star Alex Rodriguez just got hit with a $100 million lawsuit filed by his own ex-brother in-law who claims that A-Rod defrauded him and improperly kicked him out of a business venture.
Constantine Scurtis, the younger brother of Rodriguez’s ex-wife, Cynthia, filed the suit in Miami, Florida. Constantine was part of a business venture started in 2006 with A-Rod, famed investment banker Warren Buffet, and A-Rod’s friend Jose Gomez. The venture was called Newport Property Ventures Ltd.
But now, nearly a decade later, Scurtis claims that A-Rod used his power in the company to defraud him and then to strongarm him out of the group.
As reported by the New York Daily News, Scurtiz alleges that Rodriguez committed “breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and tortious interference. Scurtis also filed for an injunction to prevent A-Rod from transferring assets in order to avoid a judgment.”
The ex-brother in-law also alleges that A-Rod filed a false tax return that eventually led to the IRS putting a $388,000 lien on Scurtis’ Miami-area house.
A-Rod’s lawyer, John C. Lukacs Sr., claimed that an earlier version of the filing had no merit, but noted that he hasn’t seen the updated version because it was filed too late in the day in order to “exploit the media to (Scurtis’) advantage.”
Scurtis claimed the lawsuit wasn’t about the money and that he regrets having to file the suit.
“This is the last thing in the world I want to do,” Scurtis told the paper. “I have a very positive career going on right now. It’s not good to be involved in litigation in the business I’m in. I’m not trying to draw attention to myself. But what’s right is right.”
But A-Rod’s lawyers say they have a document signed by Scurtis handing over his rights in the company back to the group, essentially resigning his position in the venture. They have filed a motion saying that Scurtis’ claims are “predicated upon palpably and inherently false and factual mischaracterizations.”
The charges and counter charges are longer and deeper than the brief details above but the lawsuit comes just as A-Rod has started to get back to something like his old form on the diamond. With his drug suspension troubles finally receding into the past, A-Rod is once again helping the Yankees become a contender in the AL East. So this distraction presumably comes at a most unwelcome time.
As Sporting News reports, “Rodriguez was batting .257/.364/.493 with 26 home runs and 69 RBIs–a major reason why the Yankees are two games out of first place in the AL East. His new legal battle may put a slight damper on the feel-good season.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
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