EXCLUSIVE: A-Rod settles $50M lawsuit filed by his ex brother-in-law over property empire the day before he was set to go to trial after tenuous SEVEN-year battle
- DailyMail.com can reveal that Alex Rodriguez and his ex-brother-in-law Constantine Scurtis settled their $50million legal battle
- This came a day before the case was due to go to trial in Miami
- Scurtis alleged the former Yankee fraudulently cut him out of the real estate empire they built together after A-Rod and ex wife Cynthia divorced in 2008
- Rodriguez was scheduled to take the stand and face Scurtis but lawyers for the pair fixed a last-minute deal in the bitter saga that went on for seven years
- The move came after a judge threw out sensational theft and civil racketeering claims against A-Rod in October last year
- No details of the deal have been revealed and any settlement is confidential
- Lawyers for A-Rod said he was 'satisfied with the outcome' of the case. They would not divulge the terms of the settlement
- The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that is the end of it
Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and his former brother-in-law dramatically settled their $50million battle over a property empire – a day before it was due to go to trial in Miami.
A-Rod was scheduled to take the stand and face accuser Constantine Scurtis, but lawyers for the pair fixed a last-minute deal in the bitter saga that rumbled on for seven years.
The move came after the former New York Yankee scored a major victory against his ex-business partner when a judge threw out sensational theft and civil racketeering claims against him in October last year.
No details of the deal have been revealed and any settlement is confidential. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that is the end of the matter. About 100 potential jurors had been on standby for selection.
He signed an order saying: 'This action in its entirety shall be dismissed with prejudice, with each party to bear his or its own attorneys' fees and costs in connection herewith. The clerk is directed to close the case.'
DailyMail.com can reveal that Alex Rodriguez and his ex-brother-in-law Constantine Scurtis settled their $50million battle over a property empire
Scurtis alleged the former Yankee fraudulently cut him out of the real estate empire they built together after A-Rod and ex wife Cynthia divorced in 2008. Rodriguez is pictured with Scurtis (far right) meeting with Jose Gomez and Warren Buffett in Omaha in 2006
The battle began in 2014 when Scurtis, 47 – brother of A-Rod's ex-wife Cynthia – sued the legend, claiming he was illegally removed from a $1billion property empire the pair began in 2003.
He alleged he was shoved out in 2008, the same year 46-year-old Rodriguez and Cynthia, 48, divorced after a six-year marriage that produced two children.
The complicated case meandered slowly through the courts until Scurtis hired new lawyers a year ago.
They filed a bombshell amended complaint in January last year alleging A-Rod was guilty of civil racketeering and theft in an allegedly fraudulent takeover of the business.
If it had been successful, the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim would have trebled possible damages and could have taken a huge chunk of the celebrity slugger's $350million fortune.
Ironically, Judge Hanzman quashed the first bid in February last year by Rodriguez to get the racketeering and embezzlement allegations in the new complaint thrown out. They included claims of mortgage and insurance fraud.
The star's lawyers said in a legal filing at the time that Scurtis was setting out to humiliate A-Rod and fellow accused associate Stuart Zook, who was brought in to help steer the business.
They said the sensational amended complaint 'continues to contain impertinent and scandalous statements clearly intended to harass and prejudice the defendants.
'In amending his pleading, Scurtis has taken the opportunity to sensationalize this litigation solely to publicly humiliate, impugn, and disparage Mr. Rodriguez and others.'
However, former short stop Rodriguez – who now runs investment firm AROD Corp - began to win victories as the court wrangling picked up speed.
Scurtis's sister Cynthia alleged in a court filing that the marriage was 'irretrievably broken because of extra-marital affairs and other marital misconduct'. Pictured in 2012 with their daughters
Lawyers for the former Yankee said he was 'satisfied with the outcome' of the case. They would not divulge the terms of the settlement
A-Rod and JLo ended their engagement in April last year
Hanzman, who took over presiding the case around the time Scurtis engaged new lawyers, dismissed the claimant's bid for punitive damages in August, 2021.
The no-nonsense judge warned both parties that a trial would not veer into salaciousness, ruling out introducing claims that A-Rod had affairs while married – which he denies.
He also made it clear he wasn't in awe of the celebrity status of the ex-Yankee, who split with Jennifer Lopez, 52, last April. At an October video hearing, he said Rodriguez was 'a baseball player who made a lot of money and is in the tabloids a lot because he dated J-Lo.
'Like I said, I could care less about any of it. He's a baseball player that has some celebrity status. That and $5 will get him a cup of coffee at Starbucks.'
A-rod and his business partner targeted areas ripe for redevelopment such as Miami's Edgewater. It was spotted by Scurtis, his legal team said, and is now home to some of the city's most valuable real estate
And determined to conclude the saga, he said: 'The case is now seven years old. I've had enough pretrial proceedings.'
Additionally, the judge quashed the Scurtis legal team's bid to subpoena information from Major League Baseball about the 2013 Biogenesis doping scandal. This could have opened the door to discuss the Rodriguez's 2014 season ban for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drugs policy.
A-Rod's lawyers Benjamin Brodsky and Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz said in a statement in October: 'The court has already thrown out most of Mr. Scurtis' claims.
'He now needs to go before a jury and actually prove what are left of his wild conspiracy theories and legally unsupportable accusations.'
That was before Judge Hanzman dealt a significant blow to Scurtis's claims by throwing out the RICO allegations from the proceedings.
The judge wrote in his conclusion to the final summary judgment on the RICO ruling: 'Scurtis may (or may not) be owed substantial sums of money for acquisition, fees, profits, salary, etc., and may have other direct damages he can recover through this action…but his newly-minted RICO/civil theft claims were added for no purpose other than to embarrass Rodriguez, generate sensationalized press, and increase settlement leverage.'
He said he agreed with A-Rod's lawyers that this was 'nothing more than a routine business dispute'.
Rodriguez went into business with Scurtis when he wanted to develop income outside baseball. They were introduced after the sports legend first met Cynthia in a Miami gym in 1999 and they began dating.
He put in all the money for 95 per cent of the property company with his then in-law getting five per cent for his expertise, court papers said. Scurtis was also to receive a three percent acquisition fee on properties, added the documents.
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 papers.
They targeted areas ripe for redevelopment such as Miami's Edgewater. It was spotted by Scurtis, his legal team said, and is now home to some of the city's most valuable real estate.
By 2006 they even caught the attention of super-investor Warren Buffett, now 91.
The pair flew out to Omaha to meet the financial guru for advice on their business plan and had a six-hour conference. 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.'
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that is the end of it
The battle began in 2014 when Scurtis, 47 – brother of A-Rod's ex-wife Cynthia – sued the legend, claiming he was illegally removed from a $1billion property empire the pair began in 2003
Scurtis alleged in court papers that he was owed $2.2million in profits from property sales and $8million from an agreement about fees he could claim. He was also claiming damages.
Rodriguez counter-claimed that his former brother-in-law took $1.4million from the partnership without authority and began the legal action to avoid repaying it.
Scurtis attorney Katherine Eskovitz said of the settlement reached in November: 'It was confidential, so I can't comment.'
As part of the Rodriguez counter claim, Scurtis and his wholly-owned entity, Sitrucs, Inc., were being sued for money taken from the business that they later agreed to pay back.
Lawyers for A-Rod said he was 'satisfied with the outcome' of the case. They would not divulge the terms of the settlement.
A statement to DailyMail.com from the star's Miami-based attorney Benjamin Brodsky said: 'After Scurtis's punitive damages claims were rejected, his thirteen derivative lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice, judgment was entered on his primary direct claims.
'Three of his four expert witnesses were excluded, defendants' potential exposure was drastically reduced the Friday before trial, and their claims for unpaid loans were ready to be presented to the jury. Mr Rodriguez and Mr Zook are satisfied with the outcome. Seven years after the case was filed, the record speaks for itself.'
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