Filing # 41031055
Court Case # 502009CA040295XXXXMB
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – 04 May, 2016 – The estate of late Subway founder Fred DeLuca could be forced to pay $20 billion or more in damages for DeLuca and Subway’s conduct in a failed Central Florida development partnership.
Attorney Willie E. Gary and the legal team representing Delray Beach real estate developer Anthony Pugliese have filed a motion to amend the complaint, seeking compensatory and punitive penalties against the estate of Fred DeLuca for alleged fraudulent actions committed during a five-year partnership between the businessmen.
The motion – filed in the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Fla. – outlines evidence in the case which demonstrates Fred DeLuca’s and Subway’s punitive conduct.
The original 2009 lawsuit – AVP Destiny LLC and Anthony V. Pugliese III v. Frederick A. DeLuca, FD Destiny LLC, FD Destiny Credit LLC, and Doctor’s Associates Inc. f/k/a Subway – takes DeLuca to task for alleged financial misdeeds that allowed the sandwich chain founder to loot millions from Pugliese, and for the ultimate failure of the City of Destiny, which was planned as a 41,000-acre city in Central Florida.
The City of Destiny, conceived by visionary Pugliese as America’s first “Eco-Sustainable” and environmentally friendly city, was expected to accommodate more than one quarter of a million residents, and to offer millions of square feet of industrial, retail and office space within its footprint. The construction phase of the city – which was slated to be the largest single development site in Florida, eclipsing Walt Disney World and larger than the US Capitol City, Washington DC – would have employed tens of thousands of people and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit to state and local governments and businesses.
Its commitment to self-sustainability even drew the attention of the foundation of former President Bill Clinton, whose Clinton Climate Initiative in 2009 cited the City of Destiny as one of 16 projects worldwide that served as a model of sustainable urban growth.
“Today, we have taken additional steps to help right the wrongs committed by Fred DeLuca, and Subway in their partnership with our client,” Mr. Gary said.
Among the misdeeds alleged in the court documents filed:
• Fred DeLuca and his Subway employees committed multiple financial frauds against Mr. Pugliese in the course of their city of Destiny partnership – a pattern of illegal and unethical behavior that led to the pilferage of more than $25 million by Fred DeLuca from Mr. Pugliese and their related entities;
• DeLuca used his strength as a multi-billionaire to entice Mr. Pugliese to form a partnership with him and ultimately steal the project;
• DeLuca reaped secret profits from his joint business ventures with Mr. Pugliese by breaching his fiduciary responsibility to the partnership. These actions were undertaken by DeLuca for the sole purpose of taking unfair advantage of Mr. Pugliese;
• DeLuca lied to Anthony Pugliese about key details of the financing related to the closing on the city of Destiny property, which was purchased by Pugliese. Ultimately DeLuca caused Pugliese to lose hundreds of millions in seed investment money;
• DeLuca used deceptive business practices throughout the duration of the partnership in a bid to ensure failure of the partnership, which would then trigger additional financial benefits to himself;
• Both Fran Saavedra and Fred Florio, a former employee of DeLuca, have testified on the record as to the veracity of the egregious frauds committed by DeLuca against Mr. Pugliese.
Anthony Pugliese had this to say: “We look forward to our day in court.”
Pugliese’s lead counsel Willie E. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants, including the funeral industry. In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orlando against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Roger Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch. 24 months ago Mr. Gary and his team secured a record breaking $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.
All media inquiries should be directed to Tanya Wiley at 336-345-2628.
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