Marc Berley, the son of the long-time Walter & Samuels chairman David Berley, says that 11 days after he notified his father of allegedly illegal use of company funds to maintain an executive’s personal residence, he was fired.
He claims that action was unwarranted and in addition it was an illegal retaliatory act. Marc Berley is suing for $2.5 million and additional punitive damages.
Walter & Samuels is a 90-year-old real estate investment company with a large property portfolio. Marc Berley was most recently a Vice Chairman after serving as company president and senior executive managing director. His bio was removed from the company website some time after May 30, according to a review of the Internet Archive.
Court filings represent the position of one party and are not necessarily accurate or complete.
According to the complaint, Marc Berley notified his father by email on June 16, 2023 of the allegedly illegal activity, and then on June 27 he was fired.
“As detailed above, by email dated June 16, 2023, Berley disclosed to DIB [David Berley], his supervisor, activities of W&S that he reasonably believed were in violation of the law. Specifically, Berley disclosed his reasonable belief that W&S had used company funds to pay personal expenses of an executive. These included expenses to maintain an executive’s personal residence… Subsequent to the April 28, 2016 Amendment (the “Amendment”), Berley acquired a 15% ownership interest in the Company. Also, subsequent to the Amendment, DIB again increased Berley’s compensation.”
Marc Berley says in the complaint that he discovered the potentially improper expenditures through his first-ever review of company ledgers which he undertook after coming to the belief that his father was suffering from cognitive decline.