Developer sues Soros, Fortress, Cerberus

Developer Leslie Dick Worldwide Ltd., New York, filed a RICO complaint against 17 parties, including Donald Trump, financier George Soros, Fortress Investment Group and Cerberus Capital Management, over the 2003 sale of the General Motors Corp. Building in midtown Manhattan.

The suit, filed last month in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, revolves around the 2003 sale of the GM Building by Conseco Inc. and Mr. Trump to Macklowe Properties Inc. Macklowe sold the building in May 2008 to a group led by developer Mortimer Zuckerman, Goldman Sachs Group (GS) Inc., and the governments of Qatar and Kuwait for $2.9 billion — the highest price ever paid for a U.S. office building.

“Through unlawful means, including but not limited to money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and bid rigging, (some of the defendants) acquired Conseco’s prime assets, including Conseco Finance and the General Motors Building in New York City, and thereafter attempted to conceal their illicit activities,” according to a statement from the David H. Relkin law firm, which represents Leslie Dick Worldwide.

Mr. Relkin said in an interview the case was “based on new evidence discovered recently,” adding that it included parties “involved in the bankruptcy of Conseco.”

The suit alleges violations of the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by a number of investors in the property, including Mr. Trump, Soros Fund Management, Vornado Realty Trust and German American Capital, as well as a number of firms involved in the financing of the 2003 sale to Macklowe, including Fortress Investment Group, Deutsche Bank, Lazard, and Cerberus Capital Management.

None of the defendants could be immediately reached for comment, but Mr. Soros had denied such allegations in the past.