Thor Sues Lightstone Execs Claiming They Helped Ex-Thor Staffers Breach Duties

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Thor Equities sued three Lightstone bigwigs — CEO David Lichtenstein, President Mitchell Hochberg and Executive Vice President and General Counsel Joseph Teichman — for $80 million for allegedly helping former Thor executives “breach [their] fiduciary duties,” according to documents filed Monday in New York County Supreme Court.

While Thor’s summons in New York provided scant details, Teichman said the case was likely related to a lawsuit Thor filed in a Maryland court last year that claimed Lichtenstein and Hochberg helped former Thor vice presidents Jonathan Scheinberg and William Hunter arrange the purchase of a North Bethesda business park for $133 million while they were still employed at Thor.

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Scheinberg and Hunter left Thor in 2020 to form Outshine Properties and formed a joint venture with Lightstone to pick up Skybridge Towers at 6720a Rockledge Drive in North Bethesda in February 2021, according to court records.

However, Thor argued the pair violated their employment contracts because they hid the acquisition from Thor, got another Thor staffer to research the transaction under a false address and got information from the property’s brokers with their Thor email accounts. Thor also claimed that Hochberg was aware of the process as early as Nov. 9, after dining with Scheinberg to discuss the sale, according to Maryland court records.

Thor filed the Maryland suit arguing it should have a chance to buy the building and be compensated for the lost deal. A jury trial for that case is scheduled for Jan. 25, according to Montgomery County Court records.

Teichman — who was not named in the Maryland case — called the New York lawsuit meritless because a Maryland judge already dismissed the charges against Lichtenstein and Hochberg in September.

“This appears to be another baseless attempt by Thor to pursue frivolous litigation against Lightstone and will be met with a swift legal response,” Teichman said.

Scheinberg and Hunter, who are not named in the New York lawsuit, declined to comment. Thor and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.