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May 11, 2007

Bruce Ratner: Another day, another lawsuit

BRatnerDunk.gifSteamrolling a neighborhood to steamrolling investors... with so much at stake, "Caring" Bruce Ratner is stacking up the lawsuits.

The latest, from a disgruntled investor, got some play in most of the paid-circulation dailies (the NY Times passed — like that's really news):

NY Daily News, Bizman rips Ratner over Nets worth in lawsuit

A former investor in the New Jersey Nets is suing Bruce Ratner for allegedly stiffing him out of a spot in the ownership of the Brooklyn-bound NBA team.

Eugene Greene alleges that at Ratner's request, he sank $6 million into the Nets in 2003 and also raised more than $30 million from other investors. In exchange, Greene charges, he was promised a "key role in the team's organization."

The Manhattan businessman has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Ratner, charging that senior executives with Ratner's organization told him he had been "f----d" out of the deal.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, is the latest legal battle for Ratner. The developer, who bought the Nets in 2004, has been sued repeatedly over his bid to build the Atlantic Yards megaproject, which would include an arena for the team in Prospect Heights.
"We need money, money, money," Ratner said, according to court papers. "And you need to get it for us."

"You will be the glue that helps run this team," Ratner allegedly told Greene.

But Greene wasn't picked for the team's Board of Governors once Ratner's bid to buy the Nets was approved in 2004.


Greene said that when he confronted Ratner about the broken promises, he was told, "I don't remember exactly what I said. As you know, I have a memory problem."

Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for Forest City Ratner, said, "We strongly disagree with [Greene's] assertion and we will defend ourselves vigorously in court."

The NY Sun, Former Nets Investor Sues Bruce Ratner for $30M

Mr. Greene's $6 million personal investment was returned by Mr. Ratner's company, his attorney, Jonathan Sack, said.

A spokesman for Forest City Ratner Companies, Loren Riegelhaupt, said the company is reviewing the suit.

Posted by lumi at May 11, 2007 8:19 AM