• Sunday, April 21, 2024

Business

US court orders realtor Haresh Jogani to pay $2.5 b to brothers

The dispute began two decades ago when Haresh Jogani allegedly ousted his four brothers from managerial responsibilities and declined to compensate them

A US court has mandated that business tycoon Haresh Jogani should pay $2.5 billion (approximately £1.98 b) as damages to his four brothers over violation of partnership norms. (Representative Image:iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

A US court has mandated that business tycoon Haresh Jogani should pay $2.5 billion (approximately £1.98 b) as damages to his four brothers over violation of partnership norms in their California-based real estate enterprise, according to media reports.

This dispute began two decades ago and the 2003 lawsuit has already gone through five judges, 18 appeals, and several generations of lawyers in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The latest trial took around five months.

The court also instructed Haresh’s brothers – Shashikant, Rajesh, Chetan, and Shailesh Jogani – to divide shares of their Southern California property empire, consisting of about 17,000 apartments and valued at billions. However, their final payout will depend upon the prevailing real estate prices, which is currently facing a slump.

Originally from Gujarat in India, the Jogani family established a global diamond trade empire with business ventures in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North America.

Eldest sibling Shashikant ventured to California at the age of 22 in 1969, where he initiated a solo gem business and embarked on building a real estate portfolio.

During the recession in the 1990s, Shashikant brought his brothers on board as partners.

The Jogani brothers subsequently expanded their real estate portfolio and amassed approximately 17,000 apartment units.

However, around 2000 there was a rift among the siblings.

As per Shashikant’s complaint, Haresh Jogani allegedly ousted his siblings from managerial responsibilities and declined to compensate them.

Haresh argued that since there was no written agreement, his brothers could not substantiate their partnership claim.

But the jury ruled that Haresh had breached an oral contract.

In addition, the jury also awarded $165 million in damages to Chetan and Rajesh for Haresh’s breach of partnership in their diamond venture.

The jury determined that Shashikant owns 50 per cent of the real estate partnership, while Haresh owns 24 per cent, Rajesh (10 per cent), Shailesh (9.5 per cent), and Chetan (6.5 per cent).

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