Dressed impeccably in a white tuxedo coat, and with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez’s right hand placed over his heart, Alex Rodriguez peers ahead from the cover of the December Vanity Fair, his left eye squinting, the headline “J-Rod!” emblazoned below the couple.
The star-crossed former Yankee slugger is riding high this fall — whether it’s handling baseball analyst duties on Fox during the just-concluded MLB playoffs, appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” or chronicling his public romance with J-Lo on social media. Rodriguez has even been endorsed by former Yankee teammates CC Sabathia and Carlos Beltran to be the next Bombers manager. Rodriguez, it seems, has put his Biogenesis scandal and performance-enhancing drug use days long behind him.
Another legal saga still wages on in Miami state court, however, with A-Rod’s former brother-in-law Constantine Scurtis forging ahead with his multi-million dollar civil lawsuit against Rodriguez. Scurtis accuses the three-time MVP of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and civil conspiracy, stemming from their years-long partnership in ACREI L.L.C (Alex Constantine Real Estate Investments), a real estate venture the two started in 2003. Scurtis, the younger brother of A-Rod’s ex-wife Cynthia, claims he was forced out of the company in 2008, right around the time Rodriguez was going through his divorce. Cynthia and A-Rod share two daughters.
But Scurtis’ more serious allegations, of mortgage and insurance fraud, appear to have been bolstered by the recent deposition testimony of a former Newport Property Ventures Ltd. employee (Newport is the operating company of ACREI). In the past 11 months, Rodriguez’s defense team has tried to have Scurtis’ suit dismissed and has tried to prevent the depositions of various witnesses, only to have presiding judge Monica Gordo deny the motion to dismiss and allow the depositions to proceed.
Former Newport employee Demosthenes Mekras, who is Scurtis’ cousin, says that when he was still employed at the company, he was put in the uncomfortable position of executing a task that seemed suspect from the start.
“I was asked to deposit checks on behalf of employees at the company who had been moved into our Tampa portfolio property to increase the rent roll for various debt service coverage covenants in the mortgages,” Mekras said in his…