Millionaire scams agent out of commission

by Jamie Henry06 Nov 2014
It’s a lesser-known drawback to selling at the high end, one that a New York-based agent learned the hard way when he was scammed out of his $1.2 million commission.

Edward Petrie, a broker working in New York’s extremely exclusive and extraordinarily expensive East Hamptons region, was contracted by former ad man and MSNBC television host Donny Deutsch to sell his $30 million Hamptons home.
But the transaction ended with Petrie being cheated out of his $1.2 million commission.

Petrie brought L.A. hedge fund manager Howard Marks through Deutsch’s property, but when Deutsch discovered that he knew the potential buyer, he privately brokered the sale to avoid paying Petrie his four per cent commission.

“This court considers that and refusal to acknowledge [Petrie] as the broker to be marks of dishonesty and greed,” Justice Charles Ramos wrote in an Oct. 23 decision that also awarded Petrie his $1.2 million commission. “Both characteristics are particularly unbecoming when exhibited by those blessed with great wealth.”

Deutsch is worth upwards of $200 million and was a vocal supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which condemned income inequality.

Via a statement from his lawyer, Deutsch says he intends to appeal the decision.

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