Pearson, once the largest landlord and property manager, escalated his years-long feud with his sister over the real estate portfolio their parents and grandparents had amassed near Chicago, claiming he was owed $4 million by a family trust Sold out.

A new lawsuit filed this month is the latest development in a bitter dispute between John Podmajersky III and Lisa Podmajersky over how much of the family estate each is entitled to control.

The family’s real estate portfolio includes more than 100 buildings, primarily in the East Pilsen arts corridor near Halsted and 18th Streets; the siblings’ grandparents began purchasing area properties in the early 1900’s. Their father, John Podmajersky Jr., added to the family estate by acquiring and marketing lofts, with the goal of creating an artists’ colony.

A new lawsuit filed by John III alleges that Lisa Podmajersky neglected her fiduciary duty as trustee of a special trust set up by her father and failed to distribute a quarter of her assets to her brother. Attorneys for the siblings did not respond to requests for comment.

The family’s legal battles began in 2012, when their parents filed a lawsuit alleging their son was inauthentic to the extent he exercised financial control over their property through his eponymous property management company. The elder Podmajerskys tried to fire him as construction manager in Pilsen, According to local news reports.

In 2013 and 2014, during the course of the proceedings, both parents died. Before they died, though, John Podmajersky Jr. changed his will to make his daughter the owner of the property.

In a countersuit, John Podmajersky III claims his sister took advantage of his parents’ failing health to strike him out of his will and seize control of his estate. In early 2016, the court finally sided with Lisa Podmajersky, forcing her brother to hand over management of the estate to her new company.

Now, John Podmajersky III is citing the terms of a special trust established by their father in December 2012, of which Lisa is the current trustee.

A special trust transferred some of John Podmajersky Jr.’s assets to his wife prior to their parents’ death. The initial terms of the trust stated that the assets would be divided equally among his children, although he authorized his wife to change this, distributing 75% of the trust assets to Lisa Podmajersky and 25% to John Podmajersky III.

Those assets included 50,000 shares of JPodmajersky LLC, a company run by John Podmajersky Jr., whose daughter became sole manager after his death, as well as a bank account and an ownership interest in a loft apartment at 1801 South Peoria Street.

On the same day his father set up the trust, the now-deceased Podmajersky also borrowed $4 million from his son, due in December 2021, by the son, the son said in the lawsuit. John Podmajersky Jr. never paid the annual interest for the first year and died in October 2014, the suit says.

Lawyers for John Podmajersky III demanded payment last year. According to the lawsuit, Lisa Podamjersky’s attorney said the trusts were not liquid enough to make distributions to any beneficiaries, denying what the lawsuit says was “false, malicious or at least grossly negligent.”

Lisa Podamjersky received a salary of about $250,000 from her parents’ estates and trusts to administer the family estate and act as executor, which generated “substantial income,” the lawsuit said.

Lisa Podamjersky, as the LLC’s estate heir and manager, had the responsibility to ensure payment of the trust’s debt to her son, but she prioritized keeping her own interest in the estate, his lawsuit says.

“It was Lisa’s responsibility to avoid any conflict of interest when deciding whether to receive a promissory note from the estate,” the lawsuit states. “She failed to do so, and her divided allegiances resulted in JPodamjersky’s failure to pursue a legitimate dunk claim for breach of contract.”

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