Zygi Wilf loses suit claiming he used "organized crime-type activities" to scam partners

Categories: Vikings
zygiWilf.jpg
Zygi isn't above playing dirty to line his pockets, a New Jersey judge's ruling suggests.
Bitter over how much public funding the new Vikings stadium is receiving? Would it make you feel any better to know that a New Jersey judge thinks billionaire team owner Zygi Wilf demonstrated "bad faith and evil motive" in bilking his business partners out of $51 million he owed them?

SEE ALSO: Vikings unveil stadium design: Top 10 tweets

Probably not. But that's how Judge Deanne Wilson characterized his behavior (and the behavior of his family members) while summarizing her ruling in a civil suit spanning 21 years and four judges' worth of litigation.

An NJ.com report provides the details:
The Wilfs' business partners claimed family members systematically cheated them out of their fair share of revenues from Rachel Gardens, a 764-unit apartment complex in Montville, by running what amounted to "organized-crime-type activities" in their bookkeeping practices that gave the Wilfs a disproportionate share of the income.

Wilson found that Zygmunt Wilf, along with his brother, Mark, and their cousin, Leonard, committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and also violated the state's civil racketeering statute, or RICO...

Wilson did not announce the specific amount of damages to be awarded. During court sessions over the next two weeks, Wilson is expected to detail her ruling and will announce the damages at the conclusion. She invited accountants for both sides to submit their calculations.

The plaintiffs, in their closing arguments, sought a total of $51 million, including $33 million for Reichmann and $18 million for Halpern, their attorneys said. Court decisions have determined that each owns 25 percent of Rachel Gardens, and the Wilfs own 50 percent.
The report quotes the Wilfs' lead attorney, Shep Guryan, as saying, "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."

But Judge Wilson said the Wilfs failed to meet the "barest minimum" of their responsibilities as business partners and added, "I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate." She said the Wilfs used "grossly disproportionate management fees" and "unreasonable" interest rates (among other tactics) to deprive their partners of income that was rightfully theirs.

In case you've forgotten, Minnesota taxpayers are on the hook for $348 million of the $975 million project cost of the new Vikings stadium, with Minneapolis set to kick in $150 million more. So some would argue the Rachel Gardens situation isn't the only time the Wilfs have committed fraud.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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35 comments
Shawn Clark
Shawn Clark

and now there are doing the same to all Minnesotans screwing all of us and not even giving any a kiss

kennyX
kennyX

But Mark Dayton told me that by giving my tax dollars to Zigi for his new stadium, it will create millions of high paying jobs and that every single person in Minnesota will benefit. Mark Dayton also told me that pull-tab sales will cover the cost of the remaining......Mark.......are you back to drinking again?  :)

wil_simon
wil_simon

Just say you hate football Rupar.

uhrdavid
uhrdavid

That last line didn't make as much sense as the author thought it did... If the Rachel Gardens dispute has been in litigation for 20 years, and the Vikings stadium deal just went through in the last year or two, then you can't make the statement, "Some would argue that the Rachel Gardens situation isn't the first time the Wilfs have committed fraud." I'm not saying that it negates the premise of the article. It's just a pointless summation... or rather, an inaccurate summation.

Bill Seurer
Bill Seurer

Better yet, you get to use the $50million to pay for your defense AND get to spend it while you are on trial. If you eventually lose most of the money will be found to be "gone". So you win even if you lose.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

If I stole $5000 from a convenience store I'd go to jail for 20 years. But if I steal $50 million from some business partners I get put on the cover of Forbes. The Rule of Law should apply equally to everyone in a democracy, but presently that notion is truly laughable.

Adam Wogen
Adam Wogen

By no means. I'm just saying it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Adam Wogen
Adam Wogen

Well, you don't get as rich as he is without doing shady shit at some point.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You provide great material Kathy Drews: If you were commenting on an article about an Asian guy stabbing someone, would you also say, "Asian people. Sheesh!" ? Your narrow world view is what makes you and trendy people like you incapable of logical reasoning.

TC4L
TC4L

Well educated with the right connections don't get in trouble.  Not right but that's the way it is.  How can you go to jail when you may associate with the boss' boss of the people sentencing jail time.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran "Rich people" is a race now?  Or maybe it's just that if you work hard and stay in school, you too can become Asian?  You bootlickers for the elites make the most insipid false equivalencies.

kennyX
kennyX

@mingtran No, it couldn't be MB. She already took her pills and has passed out. This is a new "pinkboy" that we can harass.. 

kennyX
kennyX

@jo1glex First of all, as you probably know by now, I love stirring the pot. I love it when pinkboys such as yourself wets his panties when I make sarcastic statements for the simple goal of stirring up conversation. Isn't this what comment boards are all about? I mean, it would be so boring if we all thought alike (and had the same political views), No? You know damn very as I do, that as much as we bicker about politics and politicians, we are basically powerless when it comes down to what we want in a functional society. Sure, we can vote, and sometimes our votes count, but most times they do not. We are nothing but Sheeple controlled by the Government. It doesn't matter if you vote D or R, they are the same entity, only with differing viewpoints, but their end goal is the same: To pander to Big Money. In the case of Republicans, it is pandering to Big Business. In the case of Democrats, it is pandering to Big Government (which is basically a business in of itself). The only difference is which voter base they can get votes from. You can call me a Troll or a Teabagger or whatever else Junior High School term you want to, but at least I think for myself. All you do is listen to the Government-controlled Liberal Media and make your assertions based on that. Bottom line is that if you want your mind to be controlled by Government, that is fine by me. That is your prerogative, and you have every right to do so. I also have a right to my opinion, and if you have a problem with that, then I guess that is YOUR problem, not mine.  

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Huh? Is this Michelle Bachmann trying to use big words, only failing?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

He's trying to grasp for somethingggg.... and it's just not there. I've never lost to the polarized.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran Why bother with name-calling?  Your entire sequence of retreats from your first non-sequitur of trolling makes name-calling completely superfluous.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@kennyX  Ah, Kenny.  Awesome.  The self-proclaimed site-sanctioned clickbait troll comes out to distract from mingtran's compulsive hole-digging by putting on a clinic on how to make stuff up out of thin air, project and mirror attitudes, perpetuate straw men, and generally discredit any sort of Conservative viewpoint.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran Your entire first comment was a self-defeat.  To suggest a generalization about rich people is comparable to a racial slur.  A variant on Godwin's Law. You lose.  You can taunt, but you can't win.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

And where did I use an "I know you are but what am I?" type argument. If all you can do is name call, at least do it well. Go take a nap

kennyX
kennyX

@jo1glex Do you hate the wealthy? Are you sick of them stealing from you? Even though they pay almost 40% of the taxes in this country and employ the vast majority of people, yet they only represent less than 5% of the population, they are still evil and greedy. Want YOUR fair share? Well, your wait is OVER!

Perhaps you have heard of the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) program (also known as 'Welfare') where tax dollars from hard working (and more importantly, smart working) Americans are being funneled to lazy people who refuse to work or become educated, yet continue to have children that they cannot afford to provide for? 

Well, today the Obama Administration has announced a new supplemental program that will finally provide income equality FOR ALL.

Introducing the new Wealth Distribution Transfer (WDT) Program. This new program will be available for all Americans who earn less than $20,000 a year (INCLUDING those who are already on SNAP, EBT, SSSDI and other Government Social Services programs). By filling out a simple application (with income verification), you will receive a WDT card (ATM card) that can be used at any retail location, bank, or liquor store without a fee. You can withdraw cash or use the card for purchases for UNLIMITED amounts of money.

Where does the money come from you may ask? Simple. It comes directly from the checkings, savings, and investment accounts of Americans who have a net worth of more than $1 million dollars (The President and DFL Congress members are exempt as are all celebrities and athletes who are registered members of the DFL Party). No more do you have to be slaves to the taxes that these people contribute. Now, you can go directly into their personal wealth and take what you need (or more importantly, want). Why should they live the high life while you sit and suffer and watch TV all day long?

**Important**: It is important that you act now and apply as soon as possible. The wealth of these greedy people will only last so long, and once their money is gone, YOUR money is gone. After they all file bankruptcy and leave the country with what little that they have left, you are on your own. Take advantage of the program now while it lasts. 

WDT.

Because We ALL Deserve Our Fair Share.

(This advertisement has been brought to you by the Obama/Clinton 2016 Presidential Re-Election Fundraiser Organization and is endorsed by the Democratic Farmer Labor Party, The National Association Of The Advancement of Colored People ,The American Civil Liberties Union, The American Socialism Society, Americans Against Profit Coalition, The Rachel Maddow Foundation, The HARPO Corporation, and The I Fucking Hate White Rich Folk Association of America)    

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

I'm going down here?! I wiped the floor with you; came at you with science, all you can do is name call because that's all you've got. I'm more socially liberal than you are anyway, clown. You trendy libtards refuse to take a look outside of what you know. It's a big world out there. Bring some science next time

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran To use the #1 favorite argument of the Right, from Rush on down, "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran  "...based on nothing," except an unfortunate history of having read your comments on this site for the past year.  Your resort to the "I know you are but what am I" argument so common on the Right tells me you know you're going down here.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You are a hick

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

If she were rich, she probably wouldn't have used the term "rich people"...unless she were making light of the situation. I'm also assuming she doesn't know this man, yet she castigates an entire group of people for one man's actions. If her worldview is that narrow (which according to her other posts probably is) there is no reason NOT to believe she wouldn't castigate other groups for an individual of that groups actions. Furthermore, your argument needs further examination as you are saying I only advocate for rich white people which is based on nothing

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran No.  When we analyze things, we have to restrict ourselves to the source.  Ms. Drews' said "Rich people."  She nowhere indicated whether or not she herself was rich.  You are showing your bias by projecting onto her an abhorrence of anyone not like her.  The source does not support your argument.  Therefore, we are forced to examine your argument.  That does not work in your favor.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Using Kathy Drews' demonstrated model, she would abhor the thought of anyone not like her. So using her model, she also has a problem with other religions, sexual orientations, political affiliations and the like. FYI- Zygi is Egyptian. Egyptians aren't generally thought of as "white". FYI2-I'll defen

jo1glex
jo1glex

@mingtran Thanks for the props.  I try.

However, my question remains.  Clearly you mean to suggest that Ms. Drews is making an overly broad and unfair generalization about rich people.  

But your example about an Asian person is a false analogy.  You can't compare generalizing about a race of people who are born with certain genetic characteristics and can't do anything about it; and a group of people which crosses all races, but includes particular behavioral traits that are encouraged by their particular socio-economic framework, and entirely voluntary.  If you don't want to be rich, you don't have to be.  You can't change your race.  So it's an invalid comparison on all levels.

It's a well-documented fact that success in business dealings tends to be more common among sociopaths.  Perhaps Ms. Drews' comment should have been, "Sociopaths!  Sheesh!" That might have been more accurate.  But her comment as it was communicated her intent pretty well.

 Your response, on the other hand, only communicated a desire to distract from the Wilf's unseemly behavior.  If the Wilf's were not rich, and not white, you wouldn't be trying to distract from their behavior.  So you drag a completely irrelevant racial comparison across the trail like a red herring.


mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Your incapibility to logically reason is holding you back. Your Azn line is humorous, though.

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