As reported back in August, billionaire George Soros was sued by his ex-girlfriend, Brazilian actress Adriana Ferreyr. The 28-year-old accused him of emotional trauma and of reneging on a promise to buy her a New York City apartment. She asked the court for $50 million.
Now Ferreyr's cousin, attorney Mauricio Carneiro, is accusing Soros and his attorney of offering him $250,000 to convince her to drop the suit. He's calling it a bribe. Soros' attorney calls it a settlement.
Which is it?
This blogger thinks it's neither.
Based on the facts reported by the New York Daily News and other outlets, George Soros doesn't seem to have offered a bribe as defined under state law. New York law only prohibits bribing public officials, labor officials, sports participants and officials, and employees of people you are trying to influence.
Carneiro wasn't an employee, as it appears he was not representing Ferreyr in the suit. He told the Daily News that Soros was trying to "get [his] sympathy, get rid of her lawyers and settle the case."
But just because George Soros' cash offer wasn't a bribe, it doesn't mean it was a settlement offer either. Carneiro claims Soros offered him the $250,000. Settlement offers are made to the person who has filed the suit.
If the offer isn't a bribe and it isn't a settlement, then what is it?
A negotiation tactic gone awry. George Soros and his attorney were probably just looking for someone who could convince Adriana Ferreyr that her suit was meritless and not worth her time or effort. They thought her cousin, as an attorney, was the perfect person to do so. They thought wrong, and now Soros gets to reap the bad press.