A family dispute has ended up in court, with Millard Seldin and his son, Scott, both of Phoenix, filing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against his brother, Ted Seldin, and Ted Seldin's brother-in-law, Stanley Silverman, both of Omaha.
The Douglas County District Court lawsuit alleges that the “Arizona Seldins” are owed damages from the “Omaha Seldins” for improper management and financial dealings involving commercial real estate properties in the Omaha area. The lawsuit also names Seldin Co. and its president, Randy Lenhoff, and other Seldin family members as defendants.
Ted Seldin said the allegations are false and a separation process should continue. His attorney, Gary Gottsdiner, said he has asked the court to dismiss the “frivolous” lawsuit. “We don't expect it to go very far.”
The Seldin Co., one of Omaha's longtime developers and real estate firms, was founded by Ben Seldin and son Millard in the 1940s. Silverman and Ted Seldin later joined the company.
The company transformed 1,000 acres of farmland along West Center Road — from 114th Street to 135th in Omaha — into housing, commercial and retail development, sometimes known as the Westwood Communities.
Over the years, the brothers went their separate ways, with Ted remaining in Omaha to operate the business but Millard retaining an ownership share.
Both sides agree the family relationships deteriorated in recent years. They signed a separation agreement in 2009 that set up a mediation process to divide up the company's assets. The process was nearly complete when the lawsuit was filed last week by the Arizona Seldins, represented by Omaha attorney James Sherrets.
The lawsuit asks the court to take steps to resolve the dispute, including an order for the Omaha Seldins to pay between $3 million and $5 million that the lawsuit says should have been sent to the Arizona Seldins from the company's earnings since 1989. Ted Seldin said the company made the correct payments to the Arizona Seldins over the years.
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