It’s a new yr, and with the calendar alter, new accusations have arisen in opposition to Alex Rodriguez in a many years-long civil motion that finally has an conclude date on the horizon. 

The former New York Yankee slugger, 45, who the moment served a time-very long doping ban for his ties to the Biogenesis efficiency-enhancing drug scandal, has been locked in an internecine authorized war with Constantine Scurtis, the more youthful brother of Rodriguez’s ex-spouse, Cynthia, given that the close of 2014. The dispute stems from the real estate venture – ACREI LLC – Scurtis and Rodriguez began alongside one another nearly two decades back.

But in the most up-to-date amended criticism filed in Florida point out court docket previous 7 days, Rodriguez is accused of racketeering and civil theft, two of 59 counts in the lengthy filing. And whilst a 2015 New York Each day Information report on the circumstance outlined accusations towards Rodriguez of alleged home finance loan and insurance plan fraud, the new amended complaint incorporates extra proof that supports individuals fraud claims. If Scurtis was effective on the civil RICO claim, he stands to be awarded treble damages. 

Legal industry experts say civil RICO statements are frequently tough to establish, and a single defense lawyer not related to the circumstance reported “courts glance down upon” this sort of claims. “They crop up from a criminal statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Businesses Act), and courts really don’t like you standing in for the authorities,” stated the attorney.

“Mr. Rodriguez will deal with a jury on August 2, 2021, to reply promises that he and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement, gravely damaging a genuine and prosperous household actual estate company that Constantine Scurtis designed by means of tough do the job and savvy investment decision selections, as laid out in the grievance,” Katherine Eskovitz, a person of Scurtis’ lawyers, reported in a statement. 

Eskovitz, of Roche Cyrulnik Freedman LLP, is a former federal prosecutor with the Eastern District of New York, and she is one particular of several RCF lawyers who are new counsel symbolizing Scurtis. Yet another attorney who is element of Scurtis’ authorized workforce, Eric Rosen, was also a former Assistant U.S. Lawyer, and he was the direct federal prosecutor for the college admissions bribery circumstance — “Operation Varsity Blues” — that ensnared celebrity actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

Rodriguez has experimented with, unsuccessfully, to have the Scurtis lawsuit dismissed, and in 2018, the star-crossed, 3-time American League MVP stated publicly that Scurtis “has gotten totally nowhere with it in courtroom.”

Choose Michael Hanzman, who is at present presiding around the situation, has given observe that both sides are on a strict timeline, stating in an purchase, “The demo will not be continued.” Hanzman also set a March 19 mediation hearing, and while there is constantly the risk of a settlement, there has been little sign in the past 5 years that the two sides will go that route. Last year, when Scurtis was represented by diverse counsel, just one of his then lawyers, Joel Denaro, said in August that no settlement negotiations experienced taken spot. 

John Lukacs Sr., Rodriguez’s long-time legal professional for this subject, did not return a simply call in search of remark. 

According to the grievance, Scurtis was compelled out of the company in 2008, the very same yr Rodriguez divorced Cynthia. Hurricane Ike also struck the western coast of Florida that September, and “destroyed” some of the attributes in Tampa that ended up aspect of the enterprise partnership between Scurtis and Rodriguez. 

The criticism alleges that Rodriguez and two other defendants “implemented a home loan fraud scheme,” where corporation workforce would “fraudulently write” lease checks for home in Tampa, building phony tenant rolls. “The conspirators then repaid those people workers with checks for equivalent quantities from Newport Residence Ventures (the functioning arm of ACREI), falsely deeming the payments to be ‘consulting’ service fees out of Newport Assets,” the criticism reads.

A number of copies of phony checks utilised in the alleged house loan scheme are incorporated in the criticism. And just one of the hooked up displays is a 2008 letter published by an lawyer symbolizing Jeanette Criminal, a previous Newport vice president of finance. 

Through her attorney, Criminal raises problems in the letter about alleged coverage fraud using position, where by two sets of accounting data were made in the wake of Hurricane Ike. “The 1st set of records would reflect the genuine damage brought on by the Hurricane, and the 2nd set of records would reflect inflated damages that the Partnership would report to its insurance coverage broker, Marsh & McLennan,” reads the grievance.

Past 12 months, a different choose signed an get that will allow Scurtis to connect a claim for punitive damages. If Rodriguez were to be found responsible in trial, he stands to get rid of a sizable chunk of his economic empire.

“This circumstance occurs out of Defendants’ breaches of fiduciary obligation, breaches of agreement, and illegal and fraudulent sample of criminal activity — like embezzlement, getting residence by fraud, insurance fraud, forgery, mail fraud, and wire fraud,” reads the criticism. “Through their racketeering, Rodriguez and his co-conspirators have triggered Scurtis several hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages.”