But the buildings are losing value from the violations and mismanagement while his mother breaks her fiduciary duty and increases her income by saving on building repairs, he alleges in the complaint.
In depositions filed with the court, Roberta Koeppel said she visits the properties periodically, and when repairs need to be made or violations are filed, management company First Service Residential deals with them. Her son alleges that his mother instructed First Service to pay the violation fees without repairing the issues — which she denies.
After his father died in 1996 and left his wife with the properties in a trust, Koeppel has not been in touch with his mother or his sister Alexandra, said his attorney, Christopher Alvarado.
The drama does not stop there. The portfolio of buildings comes from his paternal grandparents, who upon their death passed it down to their children Robert (William’s father) and Nancy. Infighting between cousins, aunts and parents has been going on for years, as each has tried to compel the others to produce accounting documents to verify income produced by the estate and its properties and claim their share.
In 2002 William Koeppel went to court to prove that his family incorrectly accounted for the liabilities on the buildings so that they could inflate their earnings and dilute his share of the money, court papers show. They later settled.
The bad blood between mother and son dates back to his childhood, according to an affidavit given by his mother’s cousin Harriet Charles. Charles testified that Roberta Koeppel abused her son as a child by locking him in closets or a dog crate when she did not want to deal with him.
“As long as I have known Roberta, her entire world revolved around acquiring more money and wealth, and most often at the expense of others,” Charles said. “In my opinion, my cousin Roberta would throw anyone under the bus to get her way when money is at issue.”
Some of the properties in the family trust are 250 E. 73rd St., 141 E. 89th St. and 1594 Third Ave. in Manhattan, as well as 850 E. 31st St., 1925 Quentin Road, 6801 Bay Parkway, 201 Brighton First Road and 6925 Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn. Others are located on Long Island.
Edward Campbell, the attorney representing the interests of the trustees, Roberta and Alexandra, declined to comment on the case.