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Engel Burman Files $22.5M Lawsuit Against Founder's Son In Family Feud Escalation

New York

A group of entities owned by Long Island-based real estate firm Engel Burman is suing the founder's son, accusing him of collecting more than $13M for work others performed.

305 West End Assisted Living, part of B2K Development's portfolio.

The plaintiffs, which include EB Construction Group, Engel Burman Management and property ownership LLCs, claim in the 45-page lawsuit filed in Nassau County that former principal Scott Burman was paid almost $13.4M for work that he didn't do.

Burman, the son of Engel Burman founder Jan Burman, was accused of neglecting two separate New York state sales tax audits, leaving Engel Burman’s construction group and management companies with half a million dollars of debt, interest and penalties to pay off. 

“Defendant regularly failed to come to work and instead focused on self-aggrandizement and self-promotion through a series of speaking engagements and public appearances where he took credit for work that he did not perform,” the complaint says.

The complaint goes on to detail allegations that Scott Burman bought “unwarranted, expensive insurance policies” to the tune of $1.3M “in order to (at a minimum) line Defendant’s buddy’s pockets” and make donations from company coffers “for the sole purpose of self-promotion.”

The company is asking the court to award it $15.5M it claims Scott Burman owes, as well as $7.5M in punitive damages.

Engel Burman at one point operated a $3B real estate portfolio, largely in assisted living and multifamily properties. 

The allegations come months after Scott Burman filed a separate $14M suit against his father and other company executives, including his brother, David, claiming they tried to ice him out of the company.

In that suit, first reported by The Daily Beast, Scott Burman claimed he invested at least $5M of his own money, plus sourcing and managing hundreds of millions of dollars of Engel Burman Group business, but was pushed aside when the company formed B2K Development in 2022.

Scott Burman claims B2K CEO Steven Krieger sought to drive a wedge between father and son. His lawsuit blamed Krieger for delays and other issues at the company's projects.

The new suit shouldn't be taken as a countersuit, Glen Waldman, an Armstrong Teasdale attorney representing B2K, told the Long Island Business News.

“My clients filed this lawsuit because investigation has revealed that Scott did not earn the dollars he received and by his fiduciary actions has put the company in harm's way,” Waldman said. “This is simply our effort to get back monies that he received that he didn’t earn and not entitled to and the harm he did to the company.”

Scott Burman told the LIBN that the new suit, filed last week, was “rife with inaccuracies and pettiness.”

He, Steven Krieger and B2K Development didn't immediately respond to Bisnow’s requests for comment.