Millions of dollars were lost when a condo board in Streeterville approved a sale last year but ignored a better offer, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
16-Aug-20 Three unit owners are suing three members of the Rafaello Condominium Association board of directors, claiming a sale they approved was a self-dealing deal.
Laxmi Cheela, Sridhar Talanki, and Subba Talanki say their condo association approved a $17 million offer from SVHU, a group of corporate entities connected to Maxwelle Real Estate Group, a real estate investment firm based in Miami, even though a competing offer of $30 million had been received.
The three board members being sued Tal Bar-Or, Lisette Ruiz, and Richard Weisfisch are associated with SVHU, says the complaint, and Weisfisch is not only president of the Rafaello condo board but also owns and manages SVHU.
With SVHU and Maxwelle owning 75 percent of units at the Rafaello and in control of the condo board, the $17 million contract, says the complaint, was effectively negotiated by the same people representing buyer and seller.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to order the board members to pay them an unspecified amount in excess of $50,000.
The 175-unit Rafaello was converted to a condo hotel in 2006. It is legally a condominium but operated as a hotel.
Jonathan Bilyk contributed to this story.