On Tuesday, a New Jersey court determined that Zygmunt Wilf, his brother Mike and cousin Leonard, treated their business partners Ada Reichmann and her brother, Josef Halpern, unfairly 21-years-ago. The plaintiffs, sued Wilf for $51 million. Judge Deanne Wilson ruled in the plaintiffs favor but hasn’t determined how much money they will receive.
For some odd reason, the Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development, Lester Bagley believe’s that the ruling in New Jersey will not have a negative affect on their plans of building a new city funded stadium in Minneapolis.
The lawsuit focused on the ownership of a 764-apartment complex, located in Montville, New Jersey. Reichmann and Halpern stated that they were cheated out of their share of profits through “…organized-crime-type activities…” and inaccurate bookkeeping by Wilf & Co. Wilson stated during her ruling that “The bad faith and evil motive were demonstrated in the testimony of Zygi Wilf.”. When reading out the verdict, Wilson stated that Wilf & Co. were guilty of fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and they violated the state’s civil racketeering statute, or RICO.
RICO commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.
Wilf’s lead attorney, Shep Guryan, stated the following “The Wilf family has been in business for 58-years and has earned a well-deserved reputation for integrity and honest dealings. As with many businesses, disputes occasionally arise, and since we are currently in the midst of a legal process to resolve this civil lawsuit, we must decline further comment.”.
Guryan made sure that he gave a politically correct statement to the local press. But, this isn’t the first time that Zygmunt has been tried fooling the media.
Proceedings will continue for another two weeks, after which Wilson will determine how much damages Reichmann and Halpern will receive. Under the New Jersey RICO statute, they can expect to receive the triple amount of the damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages and have their attorney fees paid for by Wilf & Co.
The Star-Ledger has reported that this was the longest civil case in the history of New Jersey and had 4-different judges. Wilson even delayed her retirement so that she could be the judge that finished the case.