Han­dels­mans await judge’s rul­ing

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE MUS­GRAVE

After dozens of court hear­ings punc­tu­ated by claims of dis­hon­esty, in­fi­delity and greed, a Palm Beach County cir­cuit judge fi­nally is poised to de­cide how to divide Burt and Lu­cille Han­dels­man’s es­ti­mated $550 mil­lion real es­tate em­pire.

In hun­dreds of pages of doc­u­ments filed late Fri­day, at­tor­neys rep­re­sent­ing the el­derly cou­ple and their three adult chil­dren made their fi­nal pitches to Cir­cuit Judge Scott Suskauer.

At stake is tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in real es­tate, in­clud­ing shops on Worth Av­enue; restau­rants and bars on At­lantic Av­enue in Del­ray Beach; store­fronts on Ocean Av­enue in Lan­tana; of­fice build­ings in West Palm Beach; bars in Key West; and com­mer­cial build­ings, a golf course and shop­ping cen­ters in up­state New York and else­where.

In their writ­ten clos­ing ar­gu­ments, the at­tor­neys con­tin­ued the bit­ing themes that have con­sumed the epic di­vorce trial that has played out in fits and starts since Fe­bru­ary.

“He lies. He cheats. He steals, and when un­able to ac­com­plish the above uni­lat­eral(ly), he re­cruits oth­ers to ac­com­plish his mis­deeds,” Lu­cille’s at­tor­ney Joel Weiss­man wrote, sum­ming up what he saw as Burt’s be­hav­ior.

“The ev­i­dence es­tab­lished that Burt will take any­thing he can from any source he can get it from, no mat­ter how small the amount and

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