Lawsuit of the filthy rich: real estate exec uses company account for personal expenses

And is charged with committing some other no-nos in employment law. Such as harassment. And drug use.

It’s hard to grasp how people with what seems to us like a lot of income find it inadequate for their personal needs. Such as a $11,950 a month rental apartment.

But, as the Daily News’s Dareh Gregorian makes clear, Neil Binder, of Coldwell Banker Bellmarc, allegedly had, um, needs:

Manhattan real estate exec uses company account to pay his $1.8 million Hamptons mortgage and rent on Upper East Side apartment: suit 

Neil Binder was sued Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court by his business partners, Larry Friedman and Anthony DeGrotta, for allegedly causing $2 million in damages to their company, the Bellmarc Group.

The co-founder of a major Manhattan real estate firm has been treating the company’s coffers as his “personal piggy bank” — and his employees like dogs, court papers charge.

In papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, Neil Binder’s business partners, Larry Friedman and Anthony DeGrotta, say “The Art of Selling: A Scientific Approach” author has “embezzled many hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the Bellmarc Group to fund his “lavish lifestyle” and “pay his personal debts.”

Those debts include $1.8 million he owes Signature Bank, “the substantial mortgage on his luxury cooperative residence in Westhampton” and the rent for his sprawling $11,950-a-month apartment on E. 90th St., the partners charge in an explosive lawsuit.

Some of the improper withdrawals came from a company escrow account used to pay for employees’ health insurance premiums, the suit says.

Binder, 62, also used Bellmarc bucks to pay his wife for no-show work, and to make improper payments to his sister and daughter, the suit says.

He allegedly has issues with his real female employees. The suit says he’s been slapped with multiple informal and one formal sexual harassment complaint by female employees.

After the company found the formal complaint had merit, Binder fired the woman over Friedman and DeGrotta’s objections, opening the company up to a potential civil suit, the filing says.

He’s also generally “abusive and disrespectful” towards employees of both genders, and “incessantly screams and yells” in the office, the suit says.

The suit also contends that Binder is a pill-popper – and pusher.

Binder “is consuming a multitude of prescription medications,” and insisted that one of his employees take one of his Adderalls “to help her concentrate on her work.”

The freaked-out employee complained to Friedman and DeGrotta about being forced to take the medication, “and they immediately told Neil Binder never gain to coerce anyone to take any medications,” the suit says.

Nevertheless, “in the past 7-10 days, Neil Binder employed a man to work for him under the condition that the man shall commence taking Adderall,” the suit says.

Binder even “coached the man on what he would say to a doctor in order to obtain a prescription.”

The embezzlement, meanwhile, has left Bellmarc in danger of losing its franchise deal with Coldwell Banker, and has opened the company, which has over 500 employees, up to tax problems, the suit says.

The partners are seeking $2 million in damages, and a court order barring Binder from the company.

“The brokerage firm will move forward and continue to operate. We expect all good things to happen,” said the lawyer for the business partners, William Hummell.

Binder did not immediately respond to a call and email for comment.

No kidding. It’ll take all of us together to digest this lawsuit fully, let alone comment.


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