Equine Law Matter - Closed - Get Information, Read Court Documents $1.75+ MILLION JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST HORSE TRAINER DECLAN ORPEN

STEVEN RATTNER and MONOMOY FARM, LLC, Plaintiffs, -against- Plaintiffs, DECLAN ORPEN, DECLAN ORPEN SHOW STABLES, INC. (Florida), et al, Defendants.

No.  651717-2014

State of New York Supreme Court

Complaint

 

Plaintiffs Steven Rattner and Monomoy Farm LLC, by and through their attorneys,
Lankier Siffert & Wohl LLP, as and for their Complaint against Defendant Declan Orpen
(“Orpen”), Defendant Declan Orpen Show Stables, Inc., a Florida corporation (“Declan Orpen
Show Stables Florida”), and Defendant Declan Orpen Show Stables, Inc., a New York
corporation (“Declan Orpen Show Stables New York”), allege as follows:

 

NATURE OF THE ACTION

1. Plaintiffs bring this action to recover money damages for the injuries caused by
Declan Orpen’s fraudulent and deceitful conduct, and breach of his fiduciary and contractual
duties to Plaintiffs, during the time period when Orpen was Plaintiffs’ employee and agent.

2. For approximately eight years, from 2004 to April 2012, Orpen was the well compensated
employee and agent of Plaintiffs. Orpen was the manager of Monomoy Farm, a
horse farm owned by Plaintiffs in North Salem, New York. Plaintiffs’ relationship with Orpen
was one of trust and confidence. Steven Rattner trusted Orpen to oversee Monomoy Farm and
handle his various duties on behalf of Plaintiffs with honesty, loyalty, and diligence. Mr. Rattner
gave Orpen wide latitude to perform his duties.
3. Plaintiffs’ trust and confidence in Orpen was entirely misplaced. After Orpen left
Plaintiffs’ employ in April 2012, information came to light that caused Plaintiffs to investigate
Orpen’ s past dealings and transactions with third parties while Orpen was Plaintiffs’ employee
and agent. The investigation revealed that Orpen, from at least 2008 through 2012, engaged in
a pattern of self-dealing and deceit designed to cheat Plaintiffs and line his own pockets.
4. Plaintiffs’ investigation revealed, among other things, that from 2008 to 2012,
Orpen orchestrated, solicited and received kickbacks from construction contractors; instructed
one or more contractors to submit falsely inflated estimates and invoices to Plaintiffs to
facilitate his receipt of kickbacks; caused Plaintiffs unknowingly to overpay for work done on
Monomoy Farm; hid from Plaintiffs his personal financial stake in at least one contractor;
received undisclosed payments or kickbacks from the buyers of horses owned by Plaintiffs;
demanded and received undisclosed payments from a realtor with whom Orpen dealt on
Plaintiffs’ behalf; and repeatedly lied to Mr. Rattner to hide his receipt of illicit payments and
undisclosed conflicts of interest.
5. Plaintiffs have been damaged by Orpen’ s fraud and breaches of his fiduciary and
contractual duties in the amount of at least $1 million. Among other things, Plaintiffs have been
damaged by paying salary and commissions for years to a faithless servant; by overpaying

construction contractors based on false or inflated invoices that Orpen caused to be submitted
for payment; by losing income on horse sales for which Orpen received secret payments that he
neither disclosed nor remitted to Plaintiffs; and by having to hire new contractors to re-do the
shoddy work performed on Monomoy Farm by contractors Orpen had hired so that he could
receive kickbacks, without regard to quality.

PARTIES

6. Plaintiff Steven Rattner is domiciled in this County. Rattner is the sole member
of Monomoy Farm, LLC.
7. Plaintiff Monomoy Farm, LLC (“Monomoy Farm” or “the Farm”) is a limited
liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York. Monomoy
Farm operates a horse farm at 806 Peach Lake Road in North Salem, New York.
8. Defendant Declan Orpen is a citizen oflreland.
9. From 2004 up and until April2012, Orpen was employed full-time by Plaintiffs
as a horse trainer and manager of Monomoy Farm. Orpen was authorized to work in the United
States under the terms of a P-1 Visa.
I 0. Orpen does not possess U.S. citizenship and has not been lawfully admitted for
permanent residence in the United States.
II. Defendant Declan Orpen Show Stables Florida is a Florida corporation with a
principal place of business at 13833 Wellington Trace Road, Wellington, Florida 33414. Upon
information and belief, Defendant Declan Orpen is the sole owner of Declan Orpen Show
Stables Florida. The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations lists Declan Orpen
Show Stables Florida as an inactive entity and indicates that Declan Orpen Show Stables Florida
was incorporated in 2006 and voluntarily dissolved as of February 15, 2011. However, as

recently as November 18, 2013, Declan Orpen testified that he maintains a business, Declan
Orpen Show Stables, and that it is a Florida corporation.
12. Defendant Declan Orpen Show Stables New York is a New York corporation
with a principal place of business at 12 Keeler Lane, North Salem, New York 10560. Upon
information and belief, Defendant Declan Orpen is the sole owner of Declan Orpen Show
Stables New York. The New York State Division of Corporations indicates that Declan Orpen
Show Stables New York was registered with New York State on March 21,2011, and that it is
an active corporation.

16. In 2004, Steven Rattner hired Orpen to, among other things, train the horses
owned by the Rattner family, teach Mr. Rattner’s children to ride and compete, and manage
horse-related matters for the Rattner family.
17. In 2005, Steven Rattner formed Monomoy Farm, LLC, and purchased Monomoy
Farm. The Farm is a functioning horse farm with stables, a show bam, an indoor arena and other
features.
18. Orpen managed Monomoy Farm for Plaintiffs from 2005 through April 2012.
19. Orpen reported to Steven Rattner.
20. Orpen’s duties as manager of Monomoy Farm included overseeing all activity on
the Farm, including but not limited to: horse training and care; the purchase and sale of horses
for the Rattner family’s use; supervision of Farm staff; and oversight of physical improvements
to, and construction work on, the Farm.
21. From 2008 to 2012, numerous construction projects were undertaken at
Monomoy Farm. Orpen was responsible for obtaining bids for the construction work, hiring
contractors to perform the work and overseeing the contractors’ work to ensure it was done in a
timely and high-quality manner.
22. The protocol for payment of contractors that did work on Monomoy Farm was as
follows: Orpen was to receive and review the contractor’s invoice for payment; Orpen was then
to submit the invoice to Plaintiffs’ administrative and accounting personnel who worked in an
office in Manhattan (hereafter the “Rattner Family Office”) with a recommendation as to
whether the particular invoice should be paid. Payment of the contractor was then processed by
the Rattner Family Office.

JURISDICTION & VENUE

13. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Complaint and personal
jurisdiction as to each Defendant, pursuant to CPLR 301, et seq., because each of the claims
alleged herein arise out of Defendants’ transacting of business in New York, Defendants’
commission of tortious acts and breaches of duties and contract within the state of New York,
and Defendants’ commission of tortious acts and breaches of duties and contract causing injury
to Plaintiffs within the state of New York.
14. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to CPLR 503 because Plaintiff Steven
Rattner resides in this County.

BACKGROUND

A. Orpen’s Responsibilities as Manager of Monomoy Farm

15. Declan Orpen’s background is as a professional show horse rider, competitor, and
trainer.

16. In 2004, Steven Rattner hired Orpen to, among other things, train the horses
owned by the Rattner family, teach Mr. Rattner’s children to ride and compete, and manage
horse-related matters for the Rattner family.
17. In 2005, Steven Rattner formed Monomoy Farm, LLC, and purchased Monomoy
Farm. The Farm is a functioning horse farm with stables, a show bam, an indoor arena and other
features.
18. Orpen managed Monomoy Farm for Plaintiffs from 2005 through April 2012.
19. Orpen reported to Steven Rattner.
20. Orpen’s duties as manager of Monomoy Farm included overseeing all activity on
the Farm, including but not limited to: horse training and care; the purchase and sale of horses
for the Rattner family’s use; supervision of Farm staff; and oversight of physical improvements
to, and construction work on, the Farm.
21. From 2008 to 2012, numerous construction projects were undertaken at
Monomoy Farm. Orpen was responsible for obtaining bids for the construction work, hiring

contractors to perform the work and overseeing the contractors’ work to ensure it was done in a
timely and high-quality manner.
22. The protocol for payment of contractors that did work on Monomoy Farm was as
follows: Orpen was to receive and review the contractor’s invoice for payment; Orpen was then
to submit the invoice to Plaintiffs’ administrative and accounting personnel who worked in an
office in Manhattan (hereafter the “Rattner Family Office”) with a recommendation as to
whether the particular invoice should be paid. Payment of the contractor was then processed by
the Rattner Family Office.
23. Although Orpen communicated with Steven Rattner about the status of
construction work on Monomoy Farm, Mr. Rattner trusted in Orpen to perform his duties and
had confidence in Orpen. Mr. Rattner gave Orpen wide latitude and discretion in overseeing
construction work on the Farm.
24. At all relevant times, in his communications with Steven Rattner, Orpen led Mr.
Rattner to believe that he (Orpen) selected contractors to do project work on Monomoy Farm
after soliciting and receiving competitive bids for those projects.
25. At all relevant times, Orpen led Mr. Rattner to believe that, in overseeing
construction work on Monomoy Farm, Orpen was attentive to keeping costs down while
ensuring quality.
26. Steven Rattner placed great trust in Orpen to select the contractors to work on the
Farm and oversee their work precisely because Mr. Rattner believed that Orpen was acting in
Plaintiffs’ best interests and paying vigilant attention to cost and quality on each project.
27. For example, in an email that Steven Rattner sent to Orpen on January 31, 2009,
Mr. Rattner thanked Orpen, writing: “Having you getting stuff done and keeping costs down as
you are so good at will make me feel a little better about the enormous expense of running
Monomoy.”

B. Orpen’s Employee Compensation

28. At all times that he worked for Plaintiffs, Orpen was a salaried employee. Orpen
received weekly salary payments from Monomoy Farm, and an annual W -2.
29. Orpen was very well compensated by Plaintiffs.
30. When first hired in 2004, Orpen received an annual salary of $75,000. Over the
years, Plaintiffs gave Orpen numerous salary raises. Orpen’s annual salary exceeded $120,000
when he resigned in April 2012. Orpen also received generous fringe benefits including health,
dental and life insurance, and a 401(k) plan with company matching.
31. Orpen also received free lodging during his employment by Plaintiffs. From
approximately 2005 to 2008, Orpen resided in the Rattners’ North Salem residence located next
to Monomoy Farm (“the Rattner Residence”). In or about 2008, Orpen asked Plaintiffs to
renovate and modernize the old farmhouse located on Monomoy Farm, at Plaintiffs’ expense, so
that Orpen could live in the farmhouse instead of the Rattner Residence. Plaintiffs agreed and
paid more than $250,000 to renovate the farmhouse for Orpen’s benefit and comfort. From
approximately 2009 through April 2012, Orpen lived free of charge in the farmhouse.
32. Plaintiffs also paid for Orpen’s work-related expenses, including substantial travel

expenses for Orpen’ s trips to destinations in Europe and the United States. Orpen told Plaintiffs
the trips related to show horse competitions or the purchase or sale of horses. Orpen went on
these trips at his own request, not at Plaintiffs’ request, although Plaintiffs agreed to pay for the
trips.
33. Plaintiffs were generous to Orpen in other ways. At Orpen’s request, Plaintiffs
agreed to sponsor Orpen for permanent residency in the United States. Plaintiffs retained and
paid for an immigration lawyer to prepare and submit the application to U.S. immigration
authorities.
34. Plaintiffs withdrew their sponsorship of Orpen’s petition for permanent residency
in the United States in 2012, after Orpen left Plaintiffs’ employ.

C. Additional Commissions and Advances that Plaintiffs Paid to Orpen

Relating to Horse Stall Rentals and the Purchase and Sale of Horses

35. While employed by Plaintiffs, Orpen approached Steven Rattner to propose ways
that Orpen could make more money for himself and for Mr. Rattner through the horse business.

Specifically, Orpen proposed to act as Plaintiffs’ agent and earn commissions from Plaintiffs for
(i) renting horse stalls at Monomoy Farm to third parties, and (ii) buying and selling so-called
investment horses on Plaintiffs’ behalf.
36. Mr. Rattner agreed to both proposals to be supportive of Orpen’s entrepreneurial
spirit and Orpen’s desire to earn more money.
37. With regard to horse stall rentals, it was agreed by and between Orpen and
Plaintiffs that Orpen would solicit third parties to rent horse stalls on Monomoy Farm for a fee,
and that Orpen would be entitled to receive a ten percent (10%) commission on all such rentals.
38. With regard to investment horses, prior to the events at issue in this Complaint, it
was agreed by and between Orpen and Plaintiffs that: (i) Plaintiffs would put up 100% of the
money needed to purchase, house and care for the investment horses, and all related expenses,
until the horses were resold; (ii) Orpen, acting as Plaintiffs’ agent, would find the investment
horses for Plaintiffs to buy, handle all matters relating to the purchase, transport, care and resale
of the horses, and handle all negotiations of price for the horses’ purchase and sale; (iii) after the
investment horses were sold, Plaintiffs and Orpen would split the net profits in half (50/50), after
subtraction of all costs and expenses borne by Plaintiffs. Orpen was entitled to this 50% share of
profits on the investment horses only in the event of a net profit on the investment horses as a
group, taking into account all of the cumulative costs of acquisition, care and training until sold.
39. As part of their agreement relating to investment horses, Orpen was required to
disclose and provide to Plaintiffs for accounting purposes all information and supporting
documentation regarding purchase price, sale price, and horse-related costs and expenses, so that
cumulative net profit or loss could be calculated.

40. Steven Rattner has limited knowledge of the horse business and relied entirely on
Orpen’s expertise, recommendations and judgment regarding investment horse purchases and
sales.
41. Orpen requested that Plaintiffs advance him money toward his anticipated profits
on the investment horses. Between approximately 2011 and 2012, Plaintiffs advanced
approximately $84,000 to Orpen in that regard. It was understood by Plaintiffs and Orpen that
these advanced payments would be reconciled at a later date with the actual profit or loss
realized and that, in the event of a net loss on the investment horses, Orpen would be obligated to
return the advanced payments in full.
42. In addition to the investment horse agreement, for a period of time prior to 2007,
Plaintiffs agreed to pay, and did pay, commissions to Orpen in connection with horses that Orpen
bought and sold for the Rattner family’s personal use.
43. Plaintiffs stopped paying commissions to Orpen in connection with the Rattner
family’s personal horses in 2007 because, as Steven Rattner explained to Orpen, Mr. Rattner was
uncomfortable with any situation or transaction that could give rise to a potential conflict
between Mr. Rattner’s interests and Orpen’s interests. For example, Mr. Rattner’s interest in
keeping a horse for family use could potentially conflict with Orpen’s personal desire to sell that
horse in order to earn a commission; accordingly, Mr. Rattner eliminated any commission
arrangement for the purchase and sale of the Rattners’ personal horses. Orpen understood, from
this and other dealings with Mr. Rattner, that it was very important to Mr. Rattner that Orpen at
all times act in Plaintiffs’ best interests, free from any potential or actual conflict of interest.
44. In all, the commissions and advances paid by Plaintiffs to Orpen relating to stall
rentals, investment and personal horses exceeded $260,000.

45. Beginning in 2005, at Orpen’s request, those commissions and advances were
paid by check to an entity called Declan Orpen Show Stables.
46. In preparing this Complaint, Plaintiffs discovered that Declan Orpen Show
Stables was incorporated in two states, Florida and New York. Plaintiffs do not know which
entity– Declan Orpen Show Stables Florida or Declan Orpen Show Stables New York – received
and deposited the various checks from Monomoy Farm.

D. Orpen Owed Fiduciary Duties to Plaintiffs

47. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen had a fiduciary relationship with
Plaintiffs.
48. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen was prohibited from acting in any
manner inconsistent with his agency and trust.
49. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen had a duty to be loyal to Plaintiffs
at all times in performing his duties.
50. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen had a duty to exercise the utmost
good faith and loyalty in performing his duties for Plaintiffs.
51. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen had a duty of care in the
performance of his duties.
52. As an employee and agent of Plaintiffs, Orpen had a duty to disclose any personal
interest that would naturally influence his conduct in dealing with the subject of his employment,
present a conflict of interest, or prevent him from acting in Plaintiffs’ best interests.
53. At no time was Orpen authorized or allowed to solicit or receive personal
payments from any contractor or third party for work he performed on behalf of Plaintiffs as
manager of Monomoy Farm or as Plaintiffs’ agent in the purchase or sale of horses.

 

E. Discovery ofOrpen’s Fraud and Self-Dealing

54. Orpen advised Plaintiffs in or about March 2012 that he was resigning his
employment.
55. Orpen left Monomoy Farm and Plaintiffs’ employ at the end of April 2012.
56. After Orpen left Monomoy Farm, information came to Plaintiffs’ attention that
caused Plaintiffs to investigate Orpen’s conduct, particularly as related to the contractors he hired
to perform construction work on Monomoy Farm.
57. Through their investigation, Plaintiffs came to learn that Orpen had betrayed the
trust placed in him by Plaintiffs and cheated Plaintiffs to enrich himself; that Orpen had engaged
in a pattern of fraud, deceit and self-dealing at Plaintiffs’ expense; and that Orpen had acted in
clear violation of his contractual and fiduciary duties to Plaintiffs.
58. Orpen’s pattern of misconduct and deceit are egregious.
59. The allegations below detail specific instances of Orpen’s wrongdoing uncovered
by Plaintiffs to date. Plaintiffs’ investigation into Orpen’s wrongful conduct is ongoing.
Plaintiffs will need discovery to determine the full scope of Orpen’ s fraud, self dealing,
misrepresentations and other wrongful conduct.

Orpen’s Pattern of Fraud and Self-Dealing Involving Construction Contractors
Yeats Construction Management

60. Starting in or about January 2008, Orpen hired Yeats Construction Management
(“Yeats”) to perform various construction projects on Monomoy Farm and the Rattner
Residence.61. At all relevant times, the purported owner of Yeats was an individual herein
referred to as ”T.C.”1
62. From 2008 to 2010, Orpen caused Plaintiffs to issue checks to Yeats totaling over
$1 million, based upon Orpen’ s representations that these amounts were properly owed for
construction work by Yeats. As a matter of convenience, Steven Rattner paid for construction
work done on the Rattner Residence from his personal account and paid for work done on
Monomoy Farm from a Monomoy Farm account. From January 2008 to May 2010, Orpen
caused Monomoy Farm to write checks to Yeats totaling $1,031,538.05 for work on the Farm;
from 2008 to 2009, Orpen caused Mr. Rattner to write personal checks to Yeats totaling
$60,566.00 for work on the Rattner Residence.
63. At all relevant times, Orpen portrayed his relationship with Yeats to Plaintiffs as
being strictly arms-length.
64. At all relevant times, Orpen caused Plaintiffs to believe that Orpen was hiring
Yeats for jobs following a competitive bidding process.
65. Orpen never disclosed to Plaintiffs that he had any personal financial interest or
stake in Yeats.
66. Orpen never disclosed to Plaintiffs that Yeats in fact was paying Orpen a portion
of the monies Yeats received from Plaintiffs.
67. Upon information and belief, Orpen and T.C. formed Yeats in January 2008 with
the intention of cheating Plaintiffs -in that Orpen would funnel construction work to Yeats and

Yeats would pay or kick back a portion of the payments received from Plaintiffs to Orpen, while
hiding Orpen’s financial interest in Yeats from Plaintiffs.
68. Records from the New York State Department of State Division of Corporations
show that Yeats Construction Management, Inc. was incorporated on January 24, 2008, after
Orpen had already hired Yeats and caused Monomoy Farm to begin writing checks to Yeats.
69. The first payment that Orpen caused Monomoy Farm to send Yeats was a check
in the amount of $25,000, issued on January 15, 2008, nine days prior to Yeats’ incorporation.
Bank records obtained by Plaintiffs in 2013, as part of their investigation into Orpen’s conduct,
show that this $25,000 check was endorsed for deposit by Declan Orpen – confirming that Orpen
held a personal financial interest in Yeats that was never disclosed to Plaintiffs.
70. In May 2013, as part of Plaintiffs’ investigation, Plaintiffs requested from their
banking institutions copies of the checks written to various vendors that Orpen had hired and
overseen. Upon examination of the check images, including images of the backs of the checks
containing the payee endorsement, Plaintiffs discovered that Orpen had personally endorsed for
deposit at least eight (8) checks that Plaintiffs wrote and issued to Yeats in 2008, totaling
$422,835, as follows:

Payor Check Date Check Amount
Monomoy Farm 1/15/2008 $25,000.00
MonomoyFarm 4118/2008 $40,440.00
Monomoy Farm 5/13/2008 $101,225.00
Monomoy Farm 7/9/2008 $88,620.00
Monomoy Farm 9/22/2008 $97,000.00
Monomoy Farm 10/30/2008 $41,600.00
Steven Rattner 10/7/2008 $20,670.00
Steven Rattner 12/9/2008 $8,280.00

Total: $422,835.00

71. Orpen never disclosed to Plaintiffs that he was endorsing or depositing checks
that Plaintiffs issued to Yeats.

72. Upon information and belief, Orpen was also involved in setting up a post office
box for Yeats in North Salem, New York. As part of Plaintiffs’ investigation, Plaintiffs have
learned that Yeats maintained post office box 652 in North Salem, and Orpen maintained post
office box 648 in North Salem. Given the proximity of the post office box numbers, it appears
that Orpen was involved in setting up both post office boxes at or around the same time.
73. Orpen personally received at least $45,000 in payments from Yeats out of the
proceeds that Plaintiffs paid Yeats.
74. Orpen knew that his receipt of payments from Yeats and T.C., and his
nondisclosure of those payments to Plaintiffs, was corrupt, illegal, and in blatant violation of his
fiduciary duties to Plaintiffs.
75. Orpen intentionally hid from Plaintiffs that he was receiving payments from
Yeats.
76. Between 2008 and 2010, Orpen sent Steven Rattner numerous deceptive emails
and reports to make it appear that Orpen’s relationship with Yeats was arms-length and
disinterested. Examples of Orpen’ s deceptive emails and reports include the following:

 

a. On September 17, 2008, Orpen sent Mr. Rattner an email with the subject
line “706 Belgium block,” stating in relevant part:

“Steve, I called around and it seems to run from $16 to $20 per linear
foot. Alfredo wants $18/foot and Yeats said they will do it for
$16/foot. Called another company and they were $19 .50/foot. … If
you are going ahead it makes sense to use Yeats (being the lower
price). . .. Let me know your thoughts .. ? Thanks, Dec.”
Not surprisingly, Mr. Rattner responded (by email) on September 18, 2008: “Let’s go ahead
with Yeats please.”

 

b. On May 29, 2009, Orpen sent Mr. Rattner a weekly report including the
following update:

“Barn Retaining Wall Stone Facing: Yeats came back at $49,000. I
had another contractor in and they came back at $139,000. We should
discuss this as it turns out Yeats made a mistake. They seem very
embarrassed about this and are willing to do what they can/have to.
I’m meeting the contractor Saturday (30th June) to discuss in detail.”

c. In or about 2009, Orpen hired Yeats to perform the interior and exterior
renovation work on the old farmhouse, which Plaintiffs’ agreed to renovate at Orpen’s request so
that Orpen could live in the house. On August 1, 2009, Orpen sent Mr. Rattner a weekly report
including the following update:

“Old farm house: With the water-well and some other permits needed. I will meet
with the contractor there this week as I don’t feel that he is giving it his full effort
and have already told him that Labor Day is the deadline or I’m going to start
discounting his invoices accordingly.”

d. On August 12, 2009, Orpen sent Mr. Rattner a weekly report including a
follow-up update regarding his dealings with Yeats on the old farmhouse renovation:
“I spoke to him and he knows of my unhappiness, he is ‘making it his priority to
get it finished.'”

All of these communications were intended to mislead and deceive Mr. Rattner into believing
that Orpen was protecting Plaintiffs’ interests and that Orpen’s relationship with Yeats was armslength,
at a time when Orpen was secretly receiving payments from Yeats. Orpen’s emails and
reports to Mr. Rattner regarding Yeats also contained material omissions in that they were
intended to cause Plaintiffs to continue paying Yeats, without disclosing Orpen’s receipt of
secret payments from Yeats and severe conflict of interest.
77. Orpen had an undisclosed, personal interest in Yeats being paid as much as
possible by Plaintiffs, to increase the amount of payments he received from Yeats.

78. The last check that Plaintiffs wrote to Yeats was in May 2010. Upon information
and belief, Orpen’s kickback arrangement with Yeats and T.C. came to an end around that time,
and Declan no longer hired Yeats to do construction jobs for Plaintiffs.
79. On or about February 27, 2013, the CFO of the Rattner Family Office called T.C.
to request copies of Yeats’ contract( s) and many invoices regarding Yeats’ work for Plaintiffs, as
those documents appeared to be missing from the files Orpen left behind. During that call, T.C.
stated there was no written contract, that Yeats just had a verbal agreement with Orpen. T.C.
also stated that the invoices were probably “lost.” T.C. then stated that Orpen used to be his
business partner, but that Orpen took his name off because of a “conflict.” In a follow-up call on
or about March I, 2013, T.C. stated that Orpen was a 50% stockholder of Yeats.
80. Plaintiffs’ calls with T.C. on February 27,2013 and March I, 2013 marked the
first time Plaintiffs learned that Orpen had a financial interest of any kind in Yeats. Plaintiffs’
diligent investigation since that time led to Plaintiffs’ discovery of Orpen’s self-dealing and
fraud on Plaintiffs with regard to Yeats.

 

Hogan Builders

81. In or about May 2010, Orpen hired Hogan Builders, a contracting company
owned by “S.H.”, to do construction work for Plaintiffs. Orpen hired Hogan Builders for two
specific projects: (i) the construction of additional horse stalls (“the Stalls Project”), and
(ii) stonework repairs and improvements to the Rattner Residence driveway (“the Driveway
Project”).
82. Upon information and belief, Orpen hired Hogan Builders only after soliciting
and securing an agreement from S.H. to pay kickbacks to Orpen.

 

The Stalls Project

83. In or about 2010, Orpen proposed to Plaintiffs that they should build more horse
stalls on Monomoy Farm.
84. Orpen’s proposal to build more stalls was self-interested. Orpen wanted to be
able to rent out more horse stalls to third parties to increase the commissions he earned by doing
so.
85. Plaintiffs agreed to build more horse stalls based upon Orpen’s representations
that the stalls could be built at a reasonable price, and that the rental income would help defray
the costs of operating the Farm.
86. Orpen hired Hogan Builders to construct the Stalls Project.
87. From May 2010 to July 2012, Orpen caused Monomoy Farm to write checks to
Hogan Builders totaling $119,150.00 for the Stalls Project.
88. S.H. paid thousands of dollars of kickbacks to Orpen in connection with the Stalls
Project.
89. On or about June 8, 2011, S.H. wrote a check in the amount of $6,500 to Orpen’s
mother, who lives in Ireland.
90. Upon information and belief, S.H. has admitted that he paid Orpen approximately
$20,000 in cash, as a kickback in connection with the Stalls Project.
91. Orpen knew that Plaintiffs would not have knowingly allowed the stalls to be
built out of compliance with building codes or safety standards and requirements. The stalls
were being built for rental, to house expensive horses. Having gone to great lengths to ensure
that the initial construction of Monomoy Farm was done fully in compliance with building

codes, Plaintiffs would never have constructed and rented out additional stalls that could possibly
be unsafe.
92. Orpen caused Plaintiffs to believe, by representation or omission, that the
additional horse stalls were being constructed in a manner that would meet requisite building and
safety standards.
93. Steven Rattner relied on Orpen to ensure that the stalls were properly built.
94. In fact, Hogan Builders’ work in constructing the additional horse stalls was
shoddy and failed to meet building codes and safety standards and requirements. Orpen knew
that the horse stalls constructed by Hogan Builders did not conform to applicable building code
requirements.
95. Upon information and belief, Orpen tolerated the shoddy, non-compliant work by
Hogan Builders, and did not bring the deficiencies in the stall construction to Plaintiffs’
attention, because of Orpen’s self-interest in receiving kickbacks from Hogan Builders.
96. In 2013, Plaintiffs learned that the stalls did not comply with the applicable
standards. Plaintiffs were required by the Town of North Salem to tear down the horse stalls
constructed by Hogan Builders and to hire another constructor to reconstruct the stalls properly.
Plaintiffs have spent more than $700,000, in addition to the $119,150.00 it initially paid Hogan
Builders, to tear down and re-construct the horse stalls properly.

The Driveway Project

97. In April 2012, Orpen hired Hogan Builders for the Driveway Project.
98. Prior to the start of the project, a Monomoy Farm employee (other than Orpen)
saw S.H. evaluating the project and asked S.H. how much he planned to charge Steven Rattner
for the Driveway Project. S.H. told the employee the job would cost $9,500.99.

99. Orpen, however, instructed Hogan Builders to submit an inflated estimate, billing
$28,500 for the Driveway Project. As S.H. later admitted to a Monomoy Farm employee, Orpen
directed S.H. that, of the $28,500 in proceeds, $13,500 would go to Hogan Builders and the
remaining $15,000 would go to Orpen. S.H. agreed to this kickback arrangement.
100. S.H. prepared and sent Orpen, for transmission to Plaintiffs, a falsely inflated
estimate stating that the Driveway Project would cost $28,500 (“the False Estimate”).
101. On April 6, 2012, Orpen sent Steven Rattner a deceptive and fraudulent email,
with the subject line “706 stone work” stating:
“Steve, the contractor wants $28,500 to do the [Driveway Project] …. Let me
know your thoughts as the guy can start this coming week. I will try to do a little
better on the pricing though I doubt there’s too much room to negotiate
considering the labor involved. Thanks, Dec.”

In sending this email, Orpen intended to cause Mr. Rattner to believe that $28,500 was a fair
price for the Driveway Project, and that Orpen was acting in Plaintiffs’ best interests. The
statement that “the contractor wants $28,500” was a false and misleading statement, as was
Orpen’ s statement that “I will try to do a little better on the pricing though I doubt there’s too
much room to negotiate considering the labor involved.”

102. Steven Rattner relied on Orpen’s deceptive and fraudulent April 6, 2012 email.
Reasonably believing the quote to be fair and competitive, Mr. Rattner authorized Orpen to
proceed with Hogan Builders on the Driveway Project.
103. On April 18, 2012, Orpen sent Plaintiffs’ accounting personnel in the Rattner
Family Office a copy of the False Estimate, together with a request that Hogan Builders be
immediately sent the first payment due in the amount of $14,500. Orpen’s email message
attaching the False Estimate stated, in relevant part: “[P]Iease try and get this check out asap. I

forgot to send to you last week after SR [Steven Rattner] emailed me to go ahead and they are
planning on starting this Monday.”
104. Orpen’s April 8, 2012 email caused Steven Rattner to issue a personal check to
Hogan Builders that same day, in the amount of $14,500.
I 05. Before additional monies were paid to Hogan Builders for the Driveway Project,
Hogan’s kickback scheme with Orpen was discovered. Orpen was no longer in Plaintiffs’
employ at the time of the discovery.
I 06. The Monomoy Farm employee to whom S.H. had initially stated that the
Driveway Project would cost $9,500 learned that Hogan Builders had in fact invoiced Plaintiffs
for triple that amount. The employee informed Mr. Rattner and confronted S.H. about the
overcharge.
107. In or about September 2012, S.H. admitted to Steven Rattner and to other
employees of Plaintiffs that the False Estimate was false, and that Orpen had directed him to
prepare and submit the False Estimate.
108. In or about March 2013, S.H. told employees of Plaintiffs that Orpen was
threatening S.H. with bodily harm unless S.H. paid Orpen the money Orpen believed was owed
to him.

Bid Rite Builders

109. In 2011, Orpen hired Bid Rite Builders (“Bid Rite”), a company owned by M.O.
to do repairs on a house adjacent to Monomoy Farm that Monomoy Farm had recently
purchased.
110. Orpen caused Monomoy Farm to pay Bid Rite a total of $21,600.

111. Upon information and belief, Orpen arranged for Monomoy Farm to pay Bid Rite
twice, to facilitate Orpen’s receipt of a kickback from Bid Rite in connection with those
payments.
112. The first check given to Bid Rite was a Monomoy Farm check dated August 9,
2011, in the amount of$10,000, that Declan Orpen himself completed by hand and signed
(hereafter “the $10,000 Check”).
113. The $10,000 Check is suspicious and, upon information and belief, facilitated
Orpen’s receipt of a kickback. Although Orpen had authority to sign Monomoy Farm checks,
his authority to do so was limited to emergency circumstances, for instance where expenses
needed to be paid by check while Orpen was traveling to horse shows or on other horse-related
business, or for small amounts that for whatever reason could not be paid for with Monomoy
Farm’s credit card. Orpen was not authorized to pay contractors directly for construction work
performed in the ordinary course. Rather, the protocol, which Orpen well knew, was for Orpen
to review contractor invoices for accuracy and submit those invoices to Plaintiffs’ accounting
personnel in the Rattner Family Office for payment. The $10,000 Check to Bid Rite, written by
Orpen, was out of the ordinary and contrary to check-writing protocols.
114. Orpen, at some point, told an employee of the Rattner Family Office that the
$10,000 Check was a deposit on Bid Rite’s work. Steven Rattner was unaware of the $10,000
Check until Plaintiffs’ investigation into Orpen’s conduct.
115. On August 24, 2011, Bid Rite provided Orpen with an invoice stating that
payment in the amount of $11,600 was due for all of the repairs done. Bid Rite’s invoice did not
acknowledge or reflect that Monomoy Farm had made a previous payment to Bid Rite of
$10,000. Nor did the invoice credit the $10,000 Check toward the $11,600 invoice balance.

116. On September 17, 2011, Orpen- without mentioning the prior $10,000 payment
to Bid Rite – forwarded Bid Rite’s $11 ,600 invoice to Plaintiffs’ accounting personnel with the
message “O.k. to pay.”
117. Orpen’s conduct caused Monomoy Farm to issue a check to Bid Rite on
September 20, 2011, in the amount of $11,600. This was in addition to the $10,000 Check.
118. In or about February 2013, during Plaintiffs’ investigation into Orpen’s conduct,
the CFO of the Rattner Family Office called M.O. During those communications, M.O. made
conflicting statements about the $10,000 Check and Bid Rite’s work for Plaintiffs. At first, M.O.
claimed that the $10,000 Check was a down payment on the work done by Bid Rite. Asked why
the $10,000 Check was not credited toward the Bid Rite’s total invoice of$11,600 if the $10,000
Check was in fact a down payment, M.O. changed his story, claiming that the actual cost of the
job was $21,600- which is contradicted by Bid Rite’s invoice.
119. Upon information and belief, and based upon public records, Bid Rite was
incorporated shortly before Orpen hired it to do work for Monomoy Farm and it was dissolved
shortly thereafter.

Thomas Costigan Excavation LLP

120. In or about 2010, Orpen hired Thomas Costigan Excavation LLP (“TC
Excavation”), owned by T.C., to do excavation and road work at Monomoy Farm.
121. TC Excavation was hired to, among other things, build a bridge and farm road.
122. From June 2010 to August 2012, Orpen caused Monomoy Farm to issue
payments to TC Excavation totaling $386,648.77.
123. Orpen represented to Steven Rattner that he made sure the bridge was “built to
spec,” to meet applicable safety requirements.

124. In fact, Orpen did not have the bridge “built to spec.”
125. Plaintiffs have been required by the Town of North Salem to reconstruct the
bridge because of problems with the bridge construction. To date, Plaintiffs have incurred costs
exceeding $170,000 to rebuild the bridge properly– a process which is still ongoing and will
result in additional costs to Plaintiffs.
126. Upon information and belief, the bills submitted by TC Excavation were
substantially inflated. After Orpen left Plaintiffs’ employ, Plaintiffs employed a new Estate
Manager for Monomoy Farm, who has extensive experience in construction and holds a
construction supervisor license. When Orpen’s fraud involving contractors began to come to
light, Plaintiffs, with the assistance of the Estate Manager, examined the invoices that TC
Excavation had submitted to Monomoy Farm, including one invoice in the amount of $29,862
that was still pending. That examination identified irregularities including, to name just a few,
that TC Excavation billed Monomoy Farm for machine time when machines were not actually in
use, and for carpentry work not performed by carpenters.
127. As a result of the irregularities identified, Plaintiffs suspended payment to TC
Costigan on the invoice still pending payment. In or about September 2012, the CPO of the
Rattner Family Office called T.C., questioned T.C. about the invoices, and asked T.C. to provide
support for amounts billed to Monomoy Farm. T.C. was unable to substantiate the labor and
costs listed on the TC Excavation invoices.
128. Given these circumstances, and Orpen’s pattern of fraud and kickbacks, Plaintiffs
suspect that TC Excavation overcharged Plaintiffs in order to facilitate kickback payments to
Orpen.

F. Orpen’s Receipt of Undisclosed Payments Relating to the Investment Horses

129. Orpen was deceitful with Plaintiffs, and received unauthorized and undisclosed
side payments in connection with the sale of Plaintiffs’ investment horses.
130. Discovery is necessary to determine the full scope of Orpen’s wrongful conduct
relating to the investment horses. However, evidence uncovered to date shows that Orpen
received side payments from buyers in connection with the sale of at least three investment
horses owned by Plaintiffs.
131. As previously alleged, Plaintiffs and Orpen agreed to a 50/50 split of the net
profits on the investment horses, following deduction of all costs and expenses incurred by
Plaintiffs.
132. As Plaintiffs’ agent, Orpen had a duty to truthfully and accurately disclose and
report to Plaintiffs all proceeds received in connection with the sale of each investment horse.
133. At no time was Orpen authorized by Plaintiffs to solicit or receive payments from
anyone other than Plaintiffs in connection with Plaintiffs’ purchase or sale of investment horses
as Plaintiffs’ agent.
134. As Orpen well knew, it would be a direct conflict of interest for Orpen to solicit
or receive personal payment from any person while transacting business with that person on
Plaintiffs’ behalf.
135. As Orpen well knew, it would be a direct violation of his agreement with
Plaintiffs for him to fail to disclose payments he had received from horse sellers or buyers in
connection with business he conducted as Plaintiffs’ agent.

 

Undisclosed Payment in Connection to the Sale of Ziezo

136. In February 2011, Orpen, acting as Plaintiffs’ agent, purchased a horse named
Ziezo on Plaintiffs’ behalf.
137. In December 2011, Orpen reported to Plaintiffs that he had sold Ziezo to Kirbys
Bridge Brook Arms, located in Connecticut, for $40,000.
138. Orpen did not disclose to Plaintiffs his receipt of any other payment in connection
with the sale of Ziezo. Nor did Orpen disclose any conflict of interest from any personal
business relationship or dealings he had with Kirbys Bridge Brook Arms.
139. Kirbys Bridge Brook Arms transmitted a check payable to Monomoy Farm in the
amount of $40,000. The check is dated December 8, 2011, and bears check number 6092.
140. In fact, on the same day that the buyer wrote check 6092 to Monomoy Farm, the
buyer wrote a second check- number 6093 -to Declan Orpen, in the amount of $5,000.
141. The total expenses incurred by Plaintiffs in connection with the purchase and care
of Ziezo totaled $42,821.81. Accordingly, Plaintiffs suffered a net monetary loss in connection
with the purchase and sale of Ziezo.
142. Orpen, however, received $5,000 through a separate side payment that he never
disclosed to Plaintiffs.

Undisclosed Payment in Connection with the Sales of Uniek and Vigeur

143. In May 2010, Orpen, acting as Plaintiffs’ agent, purchased two investment horses
named Uniek and Vigeur.
144. Orpen arranged for Uniek to be shown to potential buyers by another horse dealer
named “M.M.” In a report that Orpen sent to Steven Rattner on January 15, 2011, Orpen advised
Mr. Rattner that Uniek was “[o]ut for sale at no cost to us. We have agreed to $75,000 to us and

if anything after $100,000 is received we split it 50/50.” Orpen was communicating that M.M.,
acting as a middleman, had agreed to pay Plaintiffs a minimum of $75,000 for Uniek, but that if
M.M. was able to sell Uniek to a buyer for more than $100,000, then the sale price owed to
Plaintiffs would be $75,000 plus half of the proceeds exceeding $100,000.
145. In February 2011, Orpen reported to Plaintiffs that Uniek had been sold for
$75,000. Monomoy Farm received a wire of $75,000 from M.M. on February 28, 2011.
146. Orpen did not disclose to Plaintiffs his receipt of any other payment in connection
with the sale of Uniek.
147. M.M. in fact sold Uniek to a buyer for $125,000 in cash plus barter of a horse
valued at $75,000 – for a total sale price of approximately $200,000.
148. Orpen never disclosed or reported to Plaintiffs that Uniek had been sold for more
than $75,000.
149. Orpen arranged for the sale of another investment horse owned by Plaintiffs, a
horse named Vigeur, to M.M. Orpen reported to Plaintiffs that the sale price ofVigeur was
$75,000. Monomoy Farm received a wire of $75,000 in connection with this sale on or about
December 20, 2010.
150. On October 10, 2013, M.M. was deposed under oath in a federal civil case
brought against M.M. by a horse buyer. In the course of that deposition, M.M. was asked how
much money he paid for the purchase of Vigeur. M.M. testified that he paid $85,000 for the
horse. Orpen never disclosed any proceeds in connection with the sale of Vigeur other than the

$75,000 wire payment.
151. In the course of his deposition, M.M. was asked how much money he paid to
Orpen in connection with the sales of Uniek and Vigeur. M.M. testified that he paid $10,000 in

cash directly to Orpen. M.M. further stated that he did not know if Orpen ever reported that
payment to his employer, Monomoy Farm.
152. On November 18, 2013, Orpen was deposed under oath, as a third-party witness,
in the same federal civil case referenced in paragraph 150. Orpen admitted that he received a
$10,000 payment from M.M. but attempted to characterize the payment as a “bonus.” When
asked if he ever disclosed to Monomoy Farm that M.M. had paid him $10,000, Orpen responded
“No … I didn’t feel I had to.” When asked to explain why he felt he had no need to disclose the
payment, Orpen refused to answer the question, stating “I think that’s my business.”

G. Losses Incurred by Plaintiffs In Connection with the Investment Horses

153. At the time Orpen left Monomoy Farm, in April 2012, several of the investment
horses remained to be sold.
154. At the time Orpen left Monomoy Farm, in April2012, Orpen represented to
Steven Rattner that he would continue to carry out and fulfill his duties as Plaintiffs’ agent in
connection with the investment horses, to ensure that the investment horses were cared for and
sold. Orpen failed to do so.
155. After leaving Monomoy Farm, Orpen was derelict in his duties with respect to the
investment horses. Steven Rattner came to realize this when he asked Orpen about one of the
investment horses named Gentley. Orpen told Mr. Rattner that the horse had been sold. After
Mr. Rattner and his staff were unable to find any records or receipts related to the sale of
Gentley, Mr. Rattner again inquired to Orpen about the horse. Orpen then stated that Gentley
had not been sold but actually was being housed at a stable in Florida. Plaintiffs determined that
Orpen was not sufficiently attending to his investment horse duties. As a result, Plaintiffs were
forced to hire another agent to replace Orpen and handle the care and sale of the remaining

investment horses. Following Orpen’s departure, Plaintiffs came to learn that the remaining,
unsold investment horses were poor investments and suffered from health or performance issues
that Orpen had not disclosed to Plaintiffs prior to leaving Monomoy Farm.
156. Thus, of the 14 investment horses that Orpen purchased on Plaintiffs’ behalf as
part of the investment horse deal, Orpen sold the best seven investment horses first, received
advances from Plaintiffs totaling approximately $84,000 in anticipated profits, and left Plaintiffs
holding horses that are now expected to result in a substantial loss to Plaintiffs.
157. As of the filing date of this Complaint, four investment horses have been sold
subsequent to Orpen’s departure yielding a net loss of more than $199,000. Three investment
horses remain to be sold, and the cumulative expenses for just those three horses already exceed
$230,000.
158. When the remaining three horses are sold and Plaintiffs reconcile the profits and
losses for the entire group of 14 investment horses, Plaintiffs expect to realize a substantial net
loss on the investment horse deal.
159. Plaintiffs are owed back the $84,000 that Plaintiffs advanced to Orpen, at his
request, for anticipated profits.

H. Orpen’s Undisclosed Demand for Commissions from a Realtor

160. From at least 2008 through 2012, every summer Plaintiffs moved certain horses
and the employees who cared for those horses from Monomoy Farm to Martha’s Vineyard,
Massachusetts, where the Rattners maintained a summer residence.
161. Plaintiffs rented houses on Martha’s Vineyard to house their employees, including
Orpen, during those summer months.

162. As part of Orpen’s normal employee duties and compensation, Orpen was
responsible for arranging for the rental of summer houses on Martha’s Vineyard to lodge
Plaintiffs’ employees.
163. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs at the time, Orpen secretly demanded that the realtor
through whom Orpen rented the houses pay him a portion of the real estate commissions she
earned for those rentals.
164. Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs at the time, Orpen told the realtor that he would only
use her services if she paid him a portion of her commissions.
165. At no time did Orpen disclose to Plaintiffs that he had demanded or received a
portion of the realtor’s commissions.
166. At no time did Plaintiffs authorize Orpen to solicit, demand or receive monies or
commissions from anyone (outside of Orpen’s regular employee salary from Plaintiffs) in
connection with Plaintiffs’ rental of houses on Martha’s Vineyard.
167. Plaintiffs learned of Orpen’s unauthorized demand for, and receipt, of monies
from the realtor in or about 2013, during Plaintiffs’ investigation into Orpen’s conduct.
168. It is offensive and disgusting to Plaintiffs that Orpen- while holding himself out
as Plaintiffs’ employee and representative – had for years been “shaking down” the realtor for
money.
169. Orpen’s undisclosed demand for, and receipt of, money from the Martha’s
Vineyard realtor is yet another example of Orpen’s pattern of dishonesty, disloyalty and self-dealing.

 

I. Risk to the Community

170. Upon information and belief, since leaving Plaintiffs’ employ in April 2012,
Orpen has continued to engage in horse-related and other business activities in the United States.
171. Orpen’s activities put him in regular contact with wealthy persons who may be
vulnerable to Orpen’s fraudulent and deceptive practices.
172. Plaintiffs are concerned that Orpen has defrauded, or will defraud, other victims.
Orpen’ s fraudulent and deceitful conduct toward Plaintiffs demonstrates that he is willing to
deceive and swindle others for his personal gain, even those who have been generous to him.
173. Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, in part, to alert others of Orpen’s fraudulent ways and
poor character.

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF

Breach of Fiduciary Duty/Faithless Servant Claim
(Against Declan Orpen)

174. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through
173, inclusive, as fully set forth herein.
175. From the time that Steven Rattner acquired Monomoy Farm in 2005, Orpen was a
high-ranking, highly-compensated employee, agent and servant of Plaintiffs.
176. As such, Orpen owed a duty of!oyalty and utmost good faith to Plaintiffs. Orpen
had a duty to disclose any interest that would influence his conduct on behalf of Plaintiffs and
was prohibited from acting in a manner inconsistent with his agency or trust.
177. Orpen knowingly, continuously and repeatedly breached his duties by failing to
disclose his financial interest in companies that he engaged to perform services for Plaintiffs;
demanding and receiving kickback payments for himself and his family members from
contractors and a realtor who performed work for Plaintiffs; accepting side payments on horse

transactions without disclosing them to Plaintiffs; and engaging in other acts of dishonesty,
disloyalty and self-dealing.
178. Orpen repeatedly made false statements, misrepresentations, and material
omissions concerning his relationships with contractors he found to perform work for Plaintiffs.
Orpen also intentionally hid from Plaintiffs his self-dealing and conflicts of interest.
179. These varied and repeated breaches ofOrpen’s fiduciary duties permeated his
service to Monomoy Farm and Steven Rattner in substantial part.
180. During at least the period from 2008 through April 2012, Declan Orpen was a
faithless servant, and Monomoy Farm and Steven Rattner are entitled to recover all
compensation, including salary, commissions, and bonuses paid to Orpen during this time,
including but not limited to at least $590,000 in such payments.
181. Monomoy Farm and Steven Rattner are also entitled to recover any kickbacks or
other side payments received by Declan Orpen from other individuals or businesses in
connection with Orpen’s work with Monomoy Farm and Steven Rattner.

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Fraud
(Against Declan Orpen)

182. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through
173, inclusive, as fully set forth herein.
183. Orpen engaged in a pattern of fraudulent and deceptive conduct relating to his
dealings with, and his acceptance of kickbacks from, various construction contractors that he
hired on Plaintiffs’ behalf.
184. As part of the fraud, Orpen intentionally made multiple material false and
misleading representations to Plaintiffs, which Orpen knew to be false and misleading, and

material omissions, concerning, among other things, his relationship and dealings withY eats
Construction Management, Hogan Builders, and Bid Rite Builders Corporation; the accuracy and
veracity of those contractors’ estimates and invoices; the reasons Orpen hired or recommended
hire of those contractors to perform the work; and the quality of the work performed.
185. As part of the fraud, Orpen violated his duties of disclosure and loyalty to
Plaintiffs.
186. Plaintiffs relied on Orpen’s materially false statements and omissions to their
detriment.
187. As a direct and proximate result ofDeclan Orpen’s fraud, Plaintiffs have suffered
and will continue to suffer actual damages in an amount not yet determined or ascertainable but
believed to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Breach of Contract
(Against Declan Orpen)

188. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege the allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through
173, inclusive, as fully set forth herein.
189. The horse investment deal is a valid and enforceable contract with Steven Rattner
and Monomoy Farm requiring Declan Orpen, among other things, to: (a) report all proceeds
received on any horse sales to Monomoy Farm and Steven Rattner; (b) report all expenses
relating to the investment horses so those could be deducted from investment horse proceeds; (c)
share 50/50 any net proceeds from investment horses, after deducting the expenses relating to
any investment horse; and (d) return the advances paid to him in the event of a net loss.
190. Steven Rattner and Monomoy Farm have performed all of their obligations under
the investment horse deal.

191. Declan Orpen has breached his obligations under the horse deal by, among other
things: (a) failing to report all proceeds received by him in connection with the sale of
Monomoy Farm investment horses; (b) failing to divide such proceeds 50/50; and (c) failing to
return the advanced payments given to him, in the total amount of $84,152.
192. As a direct and proximate result of Declan Orpen’s breaches, Steven Rattner and
Monomoy Farm have suffered and will continue to suffer actual damages in an amount not yet
determined or ascertainable but believed to be in excess of $300,000.

FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Negligent Misrepresentation and Omission
(Against Declan Orpen)

193. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege the allegations set forth in Paragraphs I through
173, inclusive, as fully set forth herein.
194. Orpen oversaw construction of the additional horse stalls and the bridge built on
Monomoy Farm between approximately 2010 and 2012. For both of those construction projects,
Plaintiffs trusted Orpen to hire qualified contractors that would perform quality work.
195. Orpen represented to Plaintiffs and/or caused Plaintiffs to believe by omission,
that the horse stalls and bridge were being properly built to comply with safety and building code
standards.
196. At no time did Orpen tell Plaintiffs that he was having the stalls and bridge built
in a way that violated applicable building and safety requirements, or that the construction work
being done was shoddy or deficient.
197. Plaintiffs reasonably relied on Orpen’s representations and omissions, and paid
hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hogan Builders and Thomas Costigan Excavation LLP for
the construction of the horse stalls and bridge.

198. Plaintiffs would not have agreed to hire or pay Hogan Builders or Thomas
Costigan Excavation LLP for the Stalls Project or bridgework had Plaintiffs known that the work
of those contractors would be substandard.
199. Orpen knew or should have known that his representations to Plaintiffs about the
bridge being properly and safely built were incorrect and false.
200. Orpen knew or should have known that Plaintiffs believed and expected that
Hogan Builders was building the horse stalls to code, but that Hogan Builders was not in fact
doing so. Orpen’s failure to inform Plaintiffs that the stalls were not being built to code was a
material omission.
201. Plaintiffs have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses, in addition
to the monies paid to Hogan Builders and Thomas Costigan Excavation LLP as a result of having
to re-construct the horse stalls and bridge to comply with the town building code, and of having
to retain new contractors and professionals to perform and oversee that work.
202. As a direct and proximate result of Declan Orpen’s negligent misrepresentations,
Steven Rattner and Monomoy Farm have suffered and will continue to suffer actual damages in
an amount not yet determined or ascertainable but believed to be in excess of $500,000.

FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Unjust Enrichment
(Against Declan Orpen Show Stables Florida and Declan Orpen Show Stables New York)

203. Plaintiffs repeat and re-allege the allegations set forth in Paragraphs I through
173, inclusive, as fully set forth herein.
204. During the period from 2008 through 2012, Orpen directed Monomoy Farms to
remit $267,041 in payments to Declan Orpen Show Stables.
205. Plaintiffs do not now know which entity– the Florida or New York corporation

— deposited the checks from Monomoy Farm.
206. The payments to Declan Orpen Show Stables, Inc. were at the expense of
Monomoy Farm and represented commissions, advances or other compensation that otherwise
would have been paid directly to Declan Orpen.
207. Because Declan Orpen was a faithless servant during this period, Orpen is not
entitled to retain any of the commissions, advances or compensation paid to him by Monomoy
Farms during this time.
208. It is against equity and good conscience for Orpen’s corporations, Declan Orpen
Show Stables Florida or Declan Orpen Show Stables New York, to retain any of the funds that
Orpen himself would not be entitled to retain.

 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Steven Rattner and Monomoy Farm respectfully request judgment in
their favor against Declan Orpen, Declan Orpen Show Stables Florida and Declan Orpen Show
Stables New York:

(a) compensatory damages in the amount of at least $1 million, plus interest;
(b) punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the Court;
(c) reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount to be determined by the Court; and
(d) such other and further relief as the Court deems equitable and just.

Dated: New York, New York
June 5, 2014

By:
LANKLER SIFFERT & WOHL LLP
Lisa Zomberg (lzomberg wlaw.com)
Julia Green (jgreen@lswlaw.com)
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110
(212) 921-8399

 

View Complaint

Defendant never filed answer

Judge awards default judgment of $1.75 million+

View Judge’s Decision and Order

Final Judgment 

 

 

Judge Awards Rattner $1.75M Judgment against Horse Trainer Declan Orpen