Judge Sides With Rotem Rosen in Ongoing Estate Feud With Alex Sapir 

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A judge has sided with Rotem Rosen in an ongoing lawsuit with his former brother-in-law, Alex Sapir, over the estate of Sapir’s late father, Tamir Sapir, according to the New York Law Journal.

New York County Surrogate’s Court Judge Rita Mella ruled last week that Sapir must put $55.5 million in escrow while the larger case regarding Rosen’s share in the estate is decided. Rosen, who was once married to Alex Sapir’s sister, claims he is owed $102.9 million from the estate of the elder Sapir, who founded The Sapir Organization and died in 2014.

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Rosen filed the suit in 2019 on behalf of ASRR Capital, a company he founded with Alex Sapir when he worked for The Sapir Organization, claiming that he was owed compensation. The two both had 50 percent ownership in the company — which owns properties in Miami and New York City — until Rosen bought out Sapir’s portion for $70 million in 2017.

Throughout the course of the case, the former partners came to an agreement, which required Sapir to put aside $55.5 million “to partly secure ASRR’s alleged interests in the claim pending its determination,” per the New York Law Journal report. But, Sapir then reversed course, failed to put aside the money, then attempted to nullify the agreement by using his own breach of it as an argument, per the report.

The most recent ruling enforces the original agreement.

“While we respectfully disagree with the Court’s interpretation of the agreement, this decision has no impact whatsoever on the viability of Rosen’s meritless claim against the Estate, which we fully expect will be dismissed on summary judgment,” said Sapir’s attorney, Oved & Oved partner Terrence Oved, in an email. Rosen declined to comment.

In the aftermath of Rosen’s original claim, the former partners traded additional lawsuits in July 2020. Sapir sued Rosen and his brother, Omer Rosen, for $100 million, claiming that the two brothers had leveraged their positions at The Sapir Organization to enrich themselves unfairly and also stole proprietary documents used to transact real estate in Miami. 

Rosen shot back with a lawsuit of his own, claiming that Sapir was in default over the ASRR buyout, because Sapir had taken a mezzanine loan against two office assets at 260 and 261 Madison Avenue, which were being used as collateral in their agreement. 

Chava Gourarie can be reached at cgourarie@commercialobserver.com.

Update:  This story has been update with a comment from counsel for Alex Sapir.