In 2011 an international real estate and investment company was accused of fraud by a former employee, represented by Frederick Oberlander, a New York-based attorney. It was claimed that the firm who had previously funded developments such as the Trump SoHo Hotel, was involved with a concealed partner named Felix Sater.
Issues with the Complaint
Oberlander spent the next few years involved in a number of controversial cases related to the initial complaint. His reputation and those of the plaintiffs were tarnished due to these proceedings. Articles on this site will examine the proceedings and reveal Oberlander as being a crooked lawyer who cannot be trusted.
Fraud, as well as several other ethical violations, were committed by Oberlander during his time as the plaintiffs’ attorney. This was due to his acquisition of classified documents that were presented as evidence in court. The information he obtained was originally from Sater’s criminal files and was sealed due to an agreement between Sater and the FBI. As a result of his misconduct, Oberlander has been subject to an injunction approved by Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, sanctions imposed by a Manhattan federal district court, an order from a federal grievance committee suspending him from the practice of law for one year, and a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors which is ongoing.
In the 2011 case filed by Oberlander in the Southern District of New York, Bayrock’s attorneys claimed the plaintiff had used illegal methods to obtain the documents and that they should be sanctioned. The court issued ordersin 2014 requiring Oberlander to identify the source of the information. Oberlander defied these court orders, and the Court struck the complaint as a sanction for Oberlander’s violations. Oberlander then was terminated as counsel for the plaintiff in the case.
Oberlander and the Bar
Oberlander was faced with the possibility of having his legal license revoked. In June 2014, a disciplinary complaint was filed against Oberlander before a federal bar grievance committee over accusations of unethical practices and disclosing sealed information in an illegal manner. His license was ordered suspended for one year, starting from September 1, 2018.
The Action of Other Firms
When the partners of Wilson Elser, a highly respected law firm found out that one of their colleagues was involved in Oberlander’s case, the repercussions were great. Robert Lerner, a partner of the law firm and close friend to Oberlander decided to represent him in legal proceedings his unauthorized disclosure of sealed information. The firm won a motion to withdraw from the case However, Lerner refused to abandon Oberlander and ultimately parted ways with the firm. Wilson Elser’s apparent refusal to be affiliated in any way is representative of the fact that Oberlander is a dishonest man and not to be trusted.