By Dan Orlando
Bellmarc co-founder Neil Binder has settled a lawsuit with former partners Larry Friedman and Anthony DeGrotta after they accused him of sexually harassing agents and using the firm as a piggy bank to fund an alleged drug habit.
In a statement issued last week, Binder said, “While the false accusations resulting from my initial termination of Anthony and Larry will always haunt me as a personal blemish on my 35 years of pursuing the highest standards in the business, I know Bellmarc is an outstanding, resilient company, and we will continue our long track record of success in real estate brokerage.”
Originally Friedman and DeGrotta were seeking $2 million in damages. Now, both Friedman and DeGrotta have resigned from the firm and are making “financial payment to the company.”
Friedman and DeGrotta founded A.C. Lawrence before selling it to Bellmarc two years ago and joining forces with Binder. Since filing the lawsuit, the pair have joined Keller Williams.
The fallout from the internal unrest decimated the lower ranks at Bellmarc with at least 25 brokers jumping ship by mid-December.
According to Binder’s release, the lawsuit has not changed Bellmarc’s franchise status with Coldwell Banker.