Sex toys and strippers — NJ finance firm settles raunchy-office lawsuit
WARNING: Video above contains graphic content of a sexual nature.
TINTON FALLS — "Wolf of Wall Street," eat your heart out.
This Monmouth County finance firm had strippers and dominatrixes at work, sex toys on desks, penis cake birthday parties, managers bedding employees for raises and a wild and hostile sex-driven corporate atmosphere, according a recent lawsuit filed by the company's former human resources director.
And there was video and pictures to prove it, attorneys claim.
Not that it matters anymore. Barely 24 hours after the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in New Brunswick, attorneys for the plaintiffs say they are ending the litigation after resolving the dispute.
Nicole Carter, along with customer service representatives Evelyn Grondski and Donna Simone, had filed suit on Thursday against seven owners and managers of Corporate Bailout LLC, which the lawsuit claimed also operates as PLG Servicing, American Funding Group and Coast to Coast Funding.
The suit alleged that the company is the "epitome of a sexually-hostile working environment" that is rivaled by what is shown in the movies "Boiler Room" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."
"This case concerns the corporate culture of a predatory lending and 'debt relief' firm that is so sexually aggressive, morally repulsive, and unlawfully hostile," reads the complaint against co-owners Mark Mancino, Richard Massini and Timothy Momat, underwriting manager Michael Hamill, Accounts Receivable Manager Michael Marino, General Manager Patrick Sheehan, and customer service manager Daryl Alessi.
“As alleged in the complaint, defendants shamelessly created a sexual harassment playground fueled by drugs and alcohol and swarming with hand-picked young women rewarded for dressing and behaving provocatively all in order to indulge their misogyny and vulgar sexual perversions,” attorney R. Armen McOmber said of the case.
Among the allegations:
- Defendants regularly flirt with, grope, touch, and gawk at women working at the office.
- Defendants regularly make sexual advances and sexually charged comments toward female employees, including comments about their physical appearance, hair, clothing, breasts and buttocks.
- Defendants also inappropriately leer at female employees and look their bodies up and down in a sexually flirtatious manner, consistently engage in inappropriate physical contact with female employees, incessantly harass female employees for sexual favors or to engage a sexual relationship, and other such inappropriate conduct.
- Female employees are explicitly encouraged and sometimes required to wear crop tops, backless dresses, and short skirts, among other provocative and skin-bearing clothing.
- The defendants decorated the office with genital themed garland and sex toys, hired strippers to give lap dances and engage in other sexual conduct with the individual defendants
- A female sales representative was called to an office by Mancino yelling "Wendy get your tits in here." Mancino and Hamill were heard taking turns "motorboating" her breasts.
- In a management meeting, Mancino and Hamill debated, in front of Orlando, about their ideal “sexually attractive” employee. While on a conference call in that same meeting, the men discussed “young girls changing their clothing outside of their office.” Mancino and Hamill immediately asked “are the girls hot” and if so to “take some video of it” and “send it” to them. Mancino and Hamill also stated, but “if [the girls are] fatties, then forget it.”
- Individual defendants also bring blow-up sex dolls with exposed breasts into interviews with potential new male employees. The defendants tell new male hires that “this is how we do business here ... this is what you’re getting yourself into,” and ask, “Have you ever been to an interview with a sex doll?”
- Alessi habitually tells female employees to “suck my d***” when he is frustrated or upset at the office. Alessi also discussed his desire to engage in sexual relations with numerous female employees
- Older male managers obsessively pursue and engage in sexual relationships with younger female employees, and they use their money and power to coerce female employees into engaging in sexually promiscuous conduct in the workplace.
- A 22-year-old woman was hired by Mancino as a customer service representative and was hired after they met at a gym. She wore "provocative" outfits to the office, was paid $60,000 a year and unlimited access to a corporate credit card despite her limited experience. Mancino began an affair with her and instructed employees not to tell his wife who eventually found out and filed for divorce.
- Employees who are willing to participate in the defendants' requests are rewarded with raises, bonuses, gifts, and promotions that do not in any way correlate with skill, experience, or work performance. On the other hand, the few women who were not willing to participate in, or otherwise complained of, lewd conduct occurring in the workplace, are shunned, ostracized, and terminated.
The tipping point was when strippers and numerous blow-up dolls were brought to the office for Hamill's birthday on June 2. Orlando said she was called a "tight ass" when she questioned a request for petty cash to pay for the strippers.
In the open office the strippers played dominatrixes and used sex toys on the defendants who drank heavily and became aroused.
Orlando said she received many complaints from employees about the party and asked Mancini not to have another one. Mancini told Orlando that if she did not lighten up she would be replaced. At the next party there were no strippers but employees were encouraged to play drinking games. The defendants became intoxicated and began to flirt with female employees. Orlando said Marino tried to grab her buttocks from behind and her complaints to management were ignored.
The suit also accused the company of "illicit business practices" and managements that "prey on desperate companies looking to improve their financial situation by misrepresenting services being provided to clients" by the three companies operate by the defendants. "Employees are specifically instructed to never mention that Defendant American Funding and Defendant Coast to Coast work out of the same office as Defendant PLG and Defendant Corporate Bailout."
Complaints by Grondski and Simone brought to Orlando led to the customer service reps being fired due to "restructuring." Orlando said she was fired after Mancino told her to "resolve her issues" when she told him the sexual behavior had to stop.
Nobody would answer the phone at Corporate Bailout. The number on the website for American Funding Group was disconnected. No numbers could be found for PLG Servicing or Coast to Coast Funding.
The lawsuit says all the companies operate out of the same office in Tinton Falls even though they give out different addresses. The website for Corporate Bailout says the company is on Division Street in Somerville. American Funding Group’s website lists a Florida address. Both companies use a toll-free number.
New Jersey 101.5 could not find phone numbers for the other defendants.
Hours after news of the lawsuit hit the media, McOmber sent New Jersey 101.5 an email saying that the case was being dropped.
“The matter has been fully and finally resolved," he said Friday. "All allegations have been withdrawn and the case will be dismissed promptly. The parties look forward to putting this behind them.”
An attorney for the defendants, Jeffrey Testa, of the firm McCarter & English, declined to comment on the specific allegations.
“We’re pleased on behalf of the company and Mr. Mancino to report that the matter has amicably been resolved between the parties and that the allegations are being withdrawn," he said.
Sergio Bichao contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.