A-Rod, Ex-Brother-in-Law Settle Suit Over Real Estate Empire

A-Rod, Ex-Brother-in-Law Settle Suit Over Real Estate Empire

From left: Alex Rodriguez, former professional baseball player, and Constantine Scurtis, chief executive officer, Lynd Acquisition Group (Getty Images, Lynd Acquisitiion Group, iStock, Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Former baseball slugger Alexander Rodriguez and his ex-brother-in-law, Constantine Scurtis, settled their remaining claims in their seven-year dispute over a once-burgeoning real estate empire, avoiding a trial that was set to begin on Monday.

Scurtis, whose sister Cynthia Scurtis was married to Rodriguez, had sued A-Rod, claiming he had cut him out of their multifamily venture and earnings, according to his complaint. The properties spanned 5,000 units purchased for $300 million in the early 2000s in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Indiana and Oklahoma.

The former Yankee responded in court that Scurtis had dipped into the partnership’s coffers to the tune of $1.4 million, and then sued Rodriguez as an extortion tactic and to wiggle out of repaying the money Scurtis owed, according to Rodriguez’s counterclaim.

Rodriguez’s attorney said the settlement, reached on Sunday, came after the court shot down Scurtis experts from testifying in court, and significantly cut down the testimony of another. This reduced the claim amount Scurtis could bring to trial, attorney Ben Brodsky said.

Terms of the settlement are confidential, with Brodsky only saying he and Rodriguez “are pleased with it.” Scurtis’ attorney declined comment.

The settlement came on the heels of Rodriguez scoring several major victories in the case.

In November, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman shot down Scurtis’ racketeering and theft counts, both civil claims, against Rodriguez. They were among the heftiest in the 59-count suit, as they could have exposed Rodriguez to triple of any damages Scurtis would win.

That decision came after Hanzman in September shot down 13 lawsuits Scurtis had filed this year against Rodriguez. They were separate from Scurtis’ main 2014 complaint, but related to the real estate venture.

Rodriguez was married to Cynthia Scurtis from 2002 to 2008, and his venture with Constantine Scurtis allegedly went awry when the marriage ended. Scurtis claimed he was pushed out as general partner of the limited liability companies the duo had used to own the properties. But Hanzman, in his November order, ruled that Scurtis had off on the transfer of control.