Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria and wife Ana have been ordered by a judge to pay $110,000 to their 82-year-old real-estate broker after cheating her over the sale of their New York mansion.
The head of the prestigious firm didn’t account for the fact that Bernice Gottlieb, a longtime friend who even trained his wife as a real-estate broker, would sue them after they gave her the exclusive listing for their $3 million home – but then, the couple secretly sold it to realty firm Weichert, which handles Deloitte relocations, in 2011.
Supreme Court Justice Mary H. Smith ruled their contract “unambiguously” made it clear the Echevarrias were obligated to direct all sales inquiries to Gottlieb, and that “Ana had admitted that she had failed to inform Ms. Gottlieb of the Weichert offer.”
Echevarria, who became CEO of accounting, tax and consultancy firm Deloitte in June 2011, put his five-bedroom Irvington mansion on the market in March of that year for $3 million, and gave Gottlieb and her firm Hudson Shores Realtors a six-month exclusive right to sell it with a 4 percent commission on the sale price.
In July 2011, according to court papers, Gottlieb brought in an offer of $2.4 million, which the following month Ana said they would accept “only if the closing was in two weeks” – which Gottlieb responded was impossible.
The filing adds that the Echevarrias – who had claimed in their legal response that they were unhappy with Gottlieb’s work and were in a rush to sell because they were moving to Miami – stopped communicating with Gottlieb, who discovered their deal with Weichert for $2.1 million when they called to ask for the keys.