The Bayrock Group is a privately owned real estate development company by Tevfik Arif. The company has been linked to the president of the U.S; Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the company was sued in 2010 by its former finance director named Jody Kriss. The case has been dragged along for a while without a settlement. However, in February 2018, the company and Jody Kriss agreed. Jody had also sued two of the company’s top directors. One of them had been accused of hiding his criminal history to the Bayrock Group. The company is linked to Trump since they developed the Trump Soho structure based in Manhattan. In principle, the company agreed to settle the issue during a court hearing in New York City.
Jody Kriss left Bayrock Group after finding out the company was money laundering, extortion, practicing corruption, having relations with wall street gangs, hiring and hiding criminal charges of one of its executives, tax delusion among others. Unfortunately, Jody later discarded some of the allegations and was then allowed to proceed with the lawsuit under racketeering laws. The sued directors were Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater. With the two directors, Jody negotiated with for months to settle the case. Though, the terms of the settlement were not shown.
Tevfik Arif and Sater; Russian born immigrants in 2002, co-founded the Bayrock Group and were later in 2005 joined by Schwarz. According to Jody’s lawsuit, the three ran the company for years illegally by evading taxes, engaging with criminals, laundering funds, and bribery. Arif and Sater were also linked to Russian criminals who allegedly helped them launder money. Sater was born in Moscow but immigrated to the U.S. He was convicted of stabbing a man during a bar fight, later, he pleaded guilty to being in link with a fraud scheme. When asked about these criminal acts of Sater, Donald Trump (who invested in Bayrock) said as much as his company does background checks on directors, he did not know much about Sater. Sater in the lawsuit denied that Bayrock Group didn’t tell Jody about Sater’s criminal past and the million dollars that were used in bribery to dodge paying taxes.
Bayrock Group developed the Trump Soho building. The 46-story building was later completed, and buyers were permitted to buy the condos using cash only. A lot of buyers came from Latin America, Europe, Russia among others. The great collapse hit and many of the condo buyers wanted their money back hence this lead to lawsuits against the company. Another reason for the lawsuit was the fact that Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and other officials lied that the condos were 60% sold yet 16% of the condos had been sold. The buyers later won the case and were given 90% of their money back. Many lawsuits against Trump Soho building and Bayrock followed.
Bayrock Group had contested Jody Kris’s allegations and termed him as an unsatisfied employee. The lawsuit uncovered four main subdivisions of Bayrock. These are; the Bayrock Spring Street (a Delaware based liability firm), Bayrock Camelback (an Arizona based limited firm), the Bayrock Merrimac (a Florida based limited firm), the Bayrock Whitestone (Delaware based firm) and lastly the Bayrock Ocean Club (a firm in Florida which is allegedly termed as having interests in the Trump Ocean Club).
Jody also claimed that Arif and Sater swindled the Trump Organization by not informing it of the Sater conviction and illegal payments made to him. This was when Bayrock signed a licensing deal to build the condos and hotel building. The Trump Soho tower later sold to CIM Group; a Los Angeles based private equity company and had been re-named the Dominick Hotel. The case of Jody Kriss verses Bayrock has peaked peoples’ interest since Donald Trump said that he never settles lawsuit but did in this case.