Here’s one for the Hamptons Real Estate Hall Of Shame. One of the most brazen attempts we’ve ever seen to cheat a real estate salesperson out of a commission happened last weekend. Disappointingly, though maybe not surprisingly, it involved a pair of Wall Streeters. Other Hamptons realtors look out for these two! Jon Terracciano, an attorney with the largest and most prominent investment bank in New York and Jon Shechtman, a portfolio manager with a prominent real estate hedge fund have a scheme to use real estate agents for access to multiple Hamptons rental properties for their summer share house while intending from the outset to cut them out of the deal by contacting the owners directly with the hope of corrupting them.
It all started with a rental inquiry received by Hamptons real estate broker Rosehip Partners. The first Jon submitted multiple Web inquiries for high end rental properties promising with every request “all cash for a quick deal.” In good faith the agent who received the lead responded promptly to their requests. He spent several hours screening suitable properties and calling owners and eventually his Saturday afternoon taking both Jons to view possible rental houses.
He later reported that the afternoon showing properties was well spent and he felt confident that a deal might be possible on any number of the seven properties that had been shown. He further offered that they were “nice guys. We chatted college hoops. I felt pretty sure I’d get an offer on one or two of the houses we visited.”
Then the unexpected happened. The next morning the agent received a phone call from an attorney in Southampton who had happened to have dinner with the owner of one of the rental properties shown to the Jons. He was calling to let the agent know that the homeowner had been distressed, surprised, disgusted even to find the following notes. The first, the homeowner found on the kitchen counter right after the showing. The second was put under the front door later in the afternoon when the Jons returned on their own. As you can see the notes were written in different handwriting script, so they each took their turn laying on their special charm.
The smiley face is a nice touch, don’t you think? After some thought we have decided to blur out the final digits of their phone numbers. We wouldn’t want to sink to their level.
Our agent dedicated two days of work with the hope of earning a slightly more than $3,000 commission. Anyone care to speculate on the salaries of the Jons? Whatever they make, it seems it isn’t enough. The thought that the pair would leverage their well intentioned victim’s work, while planning from the outset to cut him out of a deal by attempting to corrupt Landlords, even surreptitiously advancing the effort while in the house with the agent, is ethically and morally bankrupt. All the while they charaded as “nice guys” but maybe more like real “good fellas.” For additional detail follow this link for the definition of “sociopath.”
God help us all if these are the type of people we trust to manage our money!