NEWARK (CN) – Former Major League Baseball players Rondell White and Cornelius Floyd claim their financial advisers took them for $2.25 million in a bogus real estate deal. They sued Steven Kolinsky, Stephen Hill, the Kolinsky Hill Financial Group, and others in Federal Court.
The ballplayers claim their advisers described the deal for 7 acres along the Hackensack River as “no risk” and that “money return was guaranteed” within 6 months. Also named as a defendant is Hackensack Park Plaza LLC.
The ballplayers say that Hill had advised them for more than 15 years when he approached them with this “great deal.”
Both players, who were nearing retirement, say they were told they would “make a substantial profit.” Floyd claims he was told that if he put $1.25 million into the project he would never have to touch his deferred income from the New York Mets. To “heighten their investment interest,” Floyd and White say, they were told that several other pro ballplayers were putting $1 million each into the deal. But the most that anyone else actually put up was $500,000, according to the complaint.
After investing a combined $2.25 million, time passed without any updates on the project, according to the complaint. Floyd and White say they became concerned that they did not receive any documents or disclosures about the deal.
After pressing Hill for documents, with the assistance of their accountant, Floyd and White say, they received a letter from Kolinsky and Hill stating that the deal was plagued with “long-standing and underlying problems” and that all the investors would lose their entire investment in the Hackensack project.
Named as defendants along with Kolinsky, Hill and their investment firm are Hackensack Park Plaza LLC, Edward Koenig, David Koenig, Jeffrey Koenig, River Street Project LLC, K&K 320 River Street Project LLC, Partners Investment Properties LLC, Kevin Schmidt and NFP Securities.
The plaintiffs, who include White’s wife, Zanovia, seek punitive damages for fraud, conspiracy, breach of duties, securities violations, and negligent misrepresentation. They are represented by Arthur Russell of Nutley, N.J.