Published On: Sun, Jul 20th, 2014

Judge Calls Wiff Family Robbers, Awards Ruby Schron Rachel Gardens for $136 Million

The Wiff family’s legal troubles have turned into Ruby Schron’s gain.

 

New York real estate mogul Ruby Schron has purchased the Rachel Gardens apartment complex in Montville, New Jersey for $136 million from a group of owners which include Zygmunt Wilf, principal owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, in a court ordered sale. Schron won out over more than twenty other bidders in a six week auction.

This marks the end of a twenty year long dispute over the property. Last year, the sale was ordered to settle a dispute in which Zygmunt Wilf, a well known developer and head of the Wilf family, had been accused of cheating his partners, Ada Reichmann of Toronto and her brother, Josef Halpern, in what they described as “bad faith and evil motive.”

Ada Reichmann filed the lawsuit in 1992. She accused the Wilfs of cheating both her and her brother of their share of the revenues produced by the rentals, by granting themselves a disproportionate share of the profits.

New Jersey Superior court judge Deanne M. Wilson said when she ordered the sale that, “The Wilfs didn’t just take a little extra money. They robbed their partners.” She also awarded Halpern and Reichmann awarded $103 million in damages, the dissolution of the partnership and the sale of the property.

The $136 million will be divided among the partners, Mr. Halpern and Ms. Reichmann, and the Wilf family. Halpern and Reichmann each owned 25% of the property.

Rachel Gardens has 764 units spread out over 32 buildings, including private homes and two bedroom apartments.

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Mr. Halpern, 63, was first to come up with the idea of developing the property, back in 1984, and asked his then friends the Wilf Family to join him in the project.

Zygmunt Wilf leads his family’s Short Hills-based real estate company, which holds 225 garden apartment complexes, office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and a charter airline. The Wilfs are known for their contributions to Jewish charities and to New York University.

The founder of Cammeby’s International Group, Rubin “Ruby” Schron, is a New York real estate investor and landlord, worth almost $1 billion. His family began its real estate business with the money it received in death benefits when Schron’s brother died in service during World War II. Schron is known for his nursing home investments, and recently offered $2 billion for the Empire State Building.

 

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