Apparently the expression “never speak ill of the dead” poses no problem for Anthony Pugliese.
Fresh off a jail sentence stemming from charges he swindled late Subway founder Fred DeLuca out of $1 million, the Delray Beach developer is now seeking $20 billion from DeLuca’s estate with claims DeLuca was the one who stole his idea for an eco-friendly development in Central Florida and used his “multi-billionaire” status to defraud him with “shady dealings.”
The motion to amend his request for damages filed Wednesday comes years after the $5 billion Pugliese demanded from DeLuca in 2009, when the two traded lawsuits over the failed 41,000 acre residential development project called Destiny.
A press release on the filing claims Pugliese is demanding $20 billion, but nothing in the complaint lists that amount.
“The Pugliese press release is a false publicity stunt. Anthony Pugliese is not entitled to any money,” DeLuca’s attorney Rick Hutchison said. “I can also say that the Court recently granted Fred DeLuca’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding that Pugliese stole from and defrauded Fred DeLuca.”
It was a deposition in the 2009 lawsuits that ultimately landed Pugliese in jail after he admitted that he created phony companies and fake invoices to get more than $1 million from DeLuca.
At the time, Pugliese said he was doing it to create a contingency fund in case DeLuca shut him out of the deal. Investigators called it fraud and arrested him for it in 2012.
He served four months of a six month sentence before he was released last month.
Pugliese’s amended lawsuit was filed Wednesday by his civil attorney, famed litigator Willie Gary.
“Today, we have taken additional steps to help right the wrongs committed by Fred DeLuca, and Subway in their partnership with our client,” Gary said in a press release.