Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez could face 30 years in jail following stunning allegations of ‘racketeering’ and ’embezzlement’ in his $50million court battle with his ex-wife’s brother, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
A-Rod is now accused of a string of serious crimes in a legal filing – part of a civil claim that he fraudulently cut out former relative Constantine Scurtis from the $1billion real estate empire they built together.
The sports hero fiancé of singer Jennifer Lopez, 51, faces the accusations in sensational new court documents filed in Miami.
These include allegations of filing false tax documents, insurance fraud, interstate wire fraud, mail fraud and racketeering.
Alex Rodriguez is being sued for $50million by his ex-wife Cynthia’s brother Constantine Scurtis. He’s pictured with fiancee JLo
A-rod is pictured with his ex brother in law Constantine Scurtis (far right) meeting with Jose Gomez and Warren Buffett in Omaha in 2006. Buffett later wrote to them saying: ‘You are doing better with your investments than I am. In fact I can’t think of a more logical program than the one you are following’
Alex Rodriguez is being sued for $50million by his ex-wife Cynthia’s brother Constantine Scurtis (right). Alex and Cynthia are pictured left
Scurtis’ lawyers make the new claims in a long-running civil case which is set for jury trial in August.
A-Rod DENIES ex brother-in-law’s claims
Statement from Alex Rodriguez’s attorney:
‘Constantine Scurtis, Mr. Rodriguez former brother-in-law, initially filed suit against Rodriguez in December 2014. Since that time, Scurtis has amended his complaint several times, to include Mr. Zook and a multiple of limited liability partnerships and other business entities asserting a hodgepodge of fabricated claims that are wholly without merit.
‘In 2020, Scurtis was allowed to amend his claims to include a claim for punitive damages. That amendment was subsequently disallowed by the appellate court.
‘After six years, Scurtis recently terminated his team of four lawyers and engaged new counsel to amend his complaint for a fourth time. Sadly, Scurtis expanded his claims yet again to include and publicly sensationalize additional allegations as part of his scheme to impugn and shakedown Rodriguez for money which Scurtis is not entitled to and to escape repayment of substantial monies owed which is the subject of a countersuit against him.
‘To be clear, we view Scurtis’ claims as baseless and absolutely dispute liability for all claims asserted.’
If the accusations remain in the proceedings and A-Rod loses he could then face a criminal investigation, legal sources have told DailyMail.com.
Some of the alleged crimes are first degree felonies that carry a maximum 30-year jail sentence.
A-Rod, 45, could also have massive chunk of his $350million fortune seized if convicted of racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the legal sources added.
The legendary slugger met Scurtis’ sister Cynthia in a Miami gym in 1999 and the couple wed in 2002. But they divorced in 2008 after allegations of affairs – which he has consistently denied.
In a blistering introduction to the new filing, Scurtis’ lawyers write: ‘Defendant Alex Rodriguez, a former Yankees baseball player, is a serial cheater and liar.
‘After cheating on his wife, Cynthia, and lying about his affairs, Alex Rodriguez then lied to and cheated his brother in law in their real estate partnership.’
It continues: ‘This case arises out of (Rodriguez’s) breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, and illegal and fraudulent pattern of criminal activity.’
This allegedly included ’embezzlement, obtaining property by fraud, insurance fraud, forgery, mail fraud and wire fraud,’ the filing said.
‘Through their racketeering, Rodriguez and his co-conspirators have caused Scurtis many millions of dollars in damages.’
A-Rod – a celebrity investor on ABC’s Shark Tank for two seasons – set up in business with real estate expert Scurtis in 2003 in a partnership ‘done on a handshake’.
The star put in all the money for a 95 percent stake, according to their original agreement. Scurtis was given five percent because of his expertise, plus a three percent acquisition fee on properties.
Their Miami-based business – whose operating arm was called Newport Property Ventures – exploded. By 2008 the pair were handling 5,000 apartments and other units in a $1billion empire, according to court documents.
They targeted areas ripe for redevelopment such as Miami’s Edgewater. It was spotted by Scurtis and is now home to some of the city’s most valuable real estate, the latest filing said.
The pair bought up parcels of land for high rises and dubbed the area the ‘Promised Land’, added the document.
In a blistering new filing, Scurtis’ lawyers write: ‘Defendant Alex Rodriguez, a former Yankees baseball player, is a serial cheater and liar’
By 2006 they even caught the attention of super-investor Warren Buffett, now 90, the latest court filing revealed.
They flew out to Omaha to meet the financial guru for advice on their business plan and had a six-hour meeting. He later wrote to them saying: ‘You are doing better with your investments than I am. In fact I can’t think of a more logical program than the one you are following.’
But cracks started to appear in the partnership after A-Rod was accused of an affair with a stripper in 2007, which he denied.
As well as helping to fracture his relationship with Cynthia, 47, ‘reports of Rodriguez’s repeated infidelity began to affect the business’ said the court filing.
Scurtis confronted Rodriguez on a Boston business trip and told him to look him in the eye and tell him the truth. The slugger ‘looked Scurtis in the eye and denied he had ever been unfaithful’.
The former relative claims that in 2005 A-Rod convinced him to defer the three percent acquisition fees he was due so the money could remain as liquid cash in the business. He says that alone cost him $8million.
He also claims Rodriguez later cut him off from massive earnings by taking his name off some of the individual LLC companies they had created for each project without his knowledge.
It was after A-Rod’s 2008 divorce from psychology graduate Cynthia that Scurtis alleges he was fraudulently shoved out of the real estate empire and denied profits.
The court document said: ‘Within months after the divorce filing, a Rodriguez acolyte asked Scurtis to leave their real estate office, and Rodriguez’s co-conspirators assumed responsibility for its day-to-day operations.’
Cynthia alleged in her Miami court filing that the marriage was ‘irretrievably broken because of extra-marital affairs and other marital misconduct’. Pictured 2012 with their daughters
Lawyers for Scurtis say it was only during investigations for the current case that they allegedly uncovered the claimed criminal acts.
A-Rod took on Stuart Zook and childhood friend Jose Gomez before Scurtis was said to have been sidelined. Gomez is not listed as a named defendant in the civil case – but is accused by Scurtis’ lawyers in their descriptions of alleged crimes.
The attorneys write that ‘quickly and unbeknownst to Scurtis at the time, Rodriguez, Zook and Gomez had corrupted the business and began to operate through a pattern of criminal racketeering activity.
‘They immediately implemented two fraudulent schemes, which Scurtis only learned of due … to this litigation.’
The lawyers allege the first was a massive mortgage scam against the former Wachovia bank over a large rental property in Tampa, Florida.
They say ‘this fraudulent and criminal scheme’ put Scurtis in jeopardy of millions of dollars because he was still a guarantor.
The second was allegedly a scheme to profit from 2008 Hurricane Ike, which devastated parts of Texas, Louisiana and Florida and caused 113 deaths in the US.
It also destroyed millions of dollars of the company’s property. Lawyers claim Zook ordered two sets of accounts to be made – one reflecting the actual damage and a second ‘inflated’ damages for insurance purposes.
A-Rod and J-Lo (pictured), who began dating in 2017, postponed their planned wedding in Italy last summer reportedly because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They bought a $40million 10-bedroom waterfront home on Miami’s exclusive Star Island last year
But the company’s chief accountant blew the whistle to Rodriguez, says the new filing. Yet the 14 time All Star player allegedly helped cover up the claimed double accounts. He ‘entered into a confidential settlement that included a confidentiality agreement’ and the accountant resigned.
In a previous hearing, Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia (pictured) ruled that punitive damages can be added to the complaint against Rodriguez – further putting his fortune in peril if he loses
‘Rodriguez and his co-conspirators took advantage of the resulting power vacuum to remove checks on their own misconduct,’ the legal document states.
The lawyers claim A-Rod and his ‘co-conspirators’ then ‘devised a scheme to deprive Scurtis of control of the general partnership entities that he alone controlled.’
They add: ‘They created assignment documents that purported to transfer Scurtis’ interest to NPAV (an entity that was in Rodriguez’s sole control)’.
The document also claims Rodriguez and Zook embezzled real estate assets from the partnership by selling then to themselves at knockdown prices.
They are also accused in the legal papers of filing false K-1 forms with the IRS, which records each partner’s share of a partnership’s earnings.
Scurtis is suing A-Rod for $50million. And in a previous hearing, Judge Maria de Jesus Santovenia ruled that punitive damages can be added to the complaint against Rodriguez – further putting his fortune in peril if he loses.
The former New York Yankee has filed a counter claim to the Miami court, saying Scurtis took $1.4million out of the business without authorization in 2004 and 2005.
Lawyer Katherine Escovitz, who is acting for Scurtis, said: ‘Mr. Rodriguez will face a jury on August 2 to answer claims that he and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement – gravely damaging a legitimate and successful family real estate business that Constantine Scurtis built through hard work and savvy investment decisions.’
A-Rod and J-Lo, who began dating in 2017, postponed their planned wedding in Italy last summer reportedly because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They bought a $40million 10-bedroom waterfront home on Miami’s exclusive Star Island last year.