Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. sued Conrad Black today for failing to pay $557,000 in commission owed to the Cendant-owned real estate brokerage firm for selling Black’s $10.5 million apartment (condo) located at 635 Park Avenue in October, 2005. Reuters reports:
Black faces separate fraud charges amid accusations that he looted the Chicago-based newspaper publisher and misused publisher perks.
As part of the Hollinger case, FBI agents raided the closing on the sale of Black’s New York apartment and seized $9 million in proceeds on grounds the money was accumulated as part of the alleged fraud scheme.
According to another report, Edward Greenspan, Black’s attorney, claimed the suit failed to prove why the FBI seized the $9 million that his client was paid for the apartment immediately after Black wrote the commission check.
Another $1 million held in escrow from the $10 million sale was seized to pay taxes. Sotheby’s charged in its lawsuit that Black breached a listing agreement with the firm that he signed several months prior to the closing.
According to Reuters, a check issued by Black’s lawyers after the closing for the commission amount was returned with the inscription “Payment Stopped,” said the suit.
Black is scheduled to go to trial in Chicago in 2007 on obstruction of justice and racketeering charges. He has pleaded not guilty according to news reports.