Ex-Partner Sues Rezko/Blago Witness
CHICAGO (CN) - A man claims his business partner, a key witness in the Antoin Rezko and Ron Blagojevich trials, owes him $4 million after lying about their joint real estate projects.
Faysal Mohamed sued lead defendant Ali Ata in Cook County Court. The 6-page complaint describes Ata as "a recently convicted felon associated with 'Tony' Rezko and corruption in the Blagojevich administration. He and the plaintiff were joint venturers in many matters until plaintiff disassociated himself from Mr. Ata."
Mohamed claims defendant Illinois residents Katherine Aglikin and Bassam Salman "aided and abetted Ata in the breach of fiduciary duties Ata owed plaintiff."
Ata testified at both Rezko's and Blagojevich's trials, as part of a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and cheating on his taxes.
Mohamed's complaint states: "In 1993 the plaintiff and Ata made an oral agreement that they would purchase property in Cook County and develop the same preferably with an anchor tenant such as Walgreens or a CVS drug store or a State of Illinois agency facility such as the Secretary of State or the State Police.
"The two agreed plaintiff would find and acquire the sites, seek tenants and deal with local issues such as zoning and the like. It was agreed plaintiff would be paid a developer's fee for the foregoing and the two of them would provide the necessary funds including giving personal guarantees for bank loans."
Mohamed says the two men bought 14 Chicago sites together, which are listed in the complaint. But in 1998, he says, Ata refused to go forward with the planned acquisition of a property at Addison and Kimball in Chicago.
"Ata repudiated the agreement with respect to the Addison and Kimball site and told plaintiff they could not proceed because local politicians wanted a favored developer for the site. Ata concealed from plaintiff that he (Ata) would be a participant in the acquisition and development of the site. Ata owed plaintiff a duty of full disclosure. Instead, he lied to plaintiff," the complaint states.
"Ultimately the property was developed and Ata made at least $1.2 million on the project. By virtue of his agreement with plaintiff Ata owes plaintiff one-half of the amount Ata received on the project in compensatory damages. Punitive damages should also be imposed."
Mohamed claims that "after taking into account all plaintiff's dealings with Ata, he owes plaintiff not less than $4,061,684 in compensatory damages."
He claims that Aglikan and Salman are "liable to plaintiff for aiding and abetting Ata in the misconduct he exercised against plaintiff."
The complaint states: "Ata and Salman repudiated their agreements with plaintiff. They failed to provide acquisition sums as agreed. They refused to pay plaintiff his agreed fees, they withdrew more money than they were entitled to withdraw from the project. Their conduct caused damage to the projects and to plaintiff because they failed to fulfill their commitments to plaintiff."
Later, Mohamed says, "At a time not known to plaintiff, defendants Ata and Aglikin agreed they would take steps to freeze plaintiff out of the projects and take for themselves plaintiff's interest and refuse to reimburse plaintiff for the costs he advanced and refuse to pay plaintiff's developer fees and consultant's fees."
Mohamed seeks compensatory damages of $4.1 million, and punitive damages, for breach of fiduciary duty.
He is represented by Donald Johnson.