Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a failed third-party presidential candidate, FDIC-sanctioned former banker and profitable automotive dealership proprietor of Mexican-American heritage, alleges in an amended grievance that the board members of a landmark Fifth Avenue constructing in Manhattan, the Sherry-Netherland, racially discriminated towards him once they rejected his $1.275 million bid to purchase an condominium.
In his Nov. 28 complaint, De La Fuente names as defendants the co-op’s shareholders and 9 co-op board members, together with outstanding legal professionals Mary McInnis Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner (who’s married to agency chairman David Boies) and former Jones Day companion Michael Horvitz, in addition to Frederic M. Seegal, a high-profile funding banker.
Montieth Illingworth, a spokesman for the board and its members, denied the go well with’s claims and stated their lawyer, Peter Shapiro of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in New York, would “promptly” be submitting a movement to dismiss. An preliminary grievance within the case was dismissed with out prejudice.
“Having beforehand failed in courtroom with comparable claims, Mr. De La Fuente’s ultimate attempt can also be with out benefit. No believable declare is said and there’s not a single, properly pleaded reality,” Illingworth stated in a press release. “The grievance can also be needlessly suffering from inflammatory, scurrilous language that we consider is beneath the dignity of the courtroom.”
De La Fuente’s lawyer, Frederick Cains of New York, countered that the amended go well with consists of ”infinitely extra reality than was the courtroom’s requirement.” The grievance, which consists of eight separate counts, facilities on alleged violations of the federal Truthful Housing Act and New York anti-bias legal guidelines.
The grievance describes numerous luxuries offered to residents of the Sherry-Netherland, which additionally homes the restaurant Cipriani, together with twice-daily maid service and elevator attendants sporting white linen gloves. It says the Higher East Aspect constructing’s 154 cooperative flats vary in worth from $500,000 for servant’s quarters to over $65 million for full-floor layouts. However these flats, De La Fuente alleges, are “solely owned by whites of western European ethnicities who discriminate towards these of various races and nationwide origins.”
De La Fuente claims his buy bid was rejected as a result of the present house owners consider ”even the admission of 1 ‘undesirable’ would create a way of ‘there goes the neighborhood,’ resulting in tens if not lots of of hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses of the collective market worth of the 154 flats.”
By rejecting his proposed buy, De La Fuente alleges the Sherry-Netherland additionally undermined his deliberate bid to run for New York mayor in 2017.
In a Sept. 1 temporary, the defendants described De La Fuente as a “disgraced former banker who has been adjudicated as unfit to supervise a financial institution.” In 2004, the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Corp. effectively banned De La Fuente from the banking industry, citing his “misconduct” and “purposeful dishonesty.”
The defendants additionally referred to as him a “serial litigant who has filed dozens of actions in numerous federal and state courts.”
The brand new grievance, in the meantime, says De La Fuente “has by no means been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and has by no means been fined by a authorities company or courtroom for any of his enterprise dealings or private conduct.” His lawyer stated “no cash was misplaced by anybody” at First Worldwide Financial institution in Chula Vista, California, earlier than the FDIC eliminated him because the financial institution’s director.
The grievance describes De La Fuente as “an anomalous purchaser” as a result of he submitted his bid to the Sherry-Netherland after the then-owner of the focused house filed for Chapter 7. A chapter decide initially decided De La Fuente’s bid was the very best and greatest supply, the grievance states. He however offered the board with a “full package deal together with an accountant’s monetary statements, social reference letters, personal membership membership particulars, and a number of other magazines by which his photograph appeared on the duvet of 1,” the grievance states.
The board however rejected his bid with out interviewing him, De La Fuente asserts.