Friday, November 09, 2012
Wade Shavell, founder of a prominent Westport real estate firm who fell into disgrace after being convicted of income tax evasion only to rebound as a successful Florida real estate broker, died Wednesday at his Palm Beach, Fla. home. He was 51.
Business partner David Fite said Shavell suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage after slipping and striking his head Wednesday morning, according to the Fite Shavell website.
Shavell began his real estate career at age 19, and by age 25 had opened his own agency, Riverside Shavell in Westport, where he was raised.
Over the next 11 years, he built it into one of the state’s most successful independent agencies, selling luxury properties in Connecticut and The Hamptons in New York. His celebrity clients included Robert Redford, Martha Stewart and Keith Richards, according to Fite Shavell’s website.
In 2003, executives of the firm that bought his Westport agency asked him to spearhead and manage its first office in Palm Beach, where Shavell’s parents already had a home.
But his career derailed after he pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion in September 2006. (See WestportNow March 8, 2007)
He was sentenced six months later by a federal judge in Connecticut to three months in a federal prison and three years of probation.
He repaid the Internal Revenue Service for tax losses and other costs as part of his plea deal.
His mother, Patricia Shavell, had already been sentenced to three years’ probation and fined for a related misdemeanor of aiding and abetting the filing of a fraudulent document with the IRS.
Prosecutors said Shavell claimed $624,395 in fraudulent deductions on his 1999 and 2000 tax returns to offset significant capital gains incurred when he sold his Westport agency in 1999 to Coldwell Banker.
Shavell, who was single, had endured debilitating illnesses since his teens and was a cancer survivor.
“Wade had an uncanny ability to connect with all types of people and he always had a story to put people at ease,” said Fite.
“His work life and personal life overlapped, as clients always became friends. I will greatly miss his friendship.”
In addition to his mother, Shavell is survived by his father, Steven Shavell; two sisters, Cathy Shavell of Atlantis and Leslie Shavell Juergens of Michigan; a brother-in-law, Michael Juergens; and a niece and nephew.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach. Interment will follow at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens in Boynton Beach.
Fite Shevell issued the following:
Fite Shavell & Associates is deeply saddened to announce the unfortunate passing of Wade Shavell, co-founding principal of Fite Shavell & Associates.
Shavell’s family has shared medical reports confirming Shavell’s death accidental. Shavell slipped and struck his head causing a fatal brain hemorrhage early yesterday morning. Wade’s passion for real estate throughout Palm Beach, Connecticut and the Hamptons, was steadfast and palpable within each community.
Shavell’s numerous strengths were recognized by all who knew him.
· Keen market insights, strategically identifying under-valued real estate investment opportunities and locations before they were widely known
· An uncanny ability to identify motivation and negotiate successfully
· Strong agent management skills, inspiring Fite Shavell Associates to continually strive
· Great compassion toward all
The accomplishment of which Wade Shavell seemed most proud up to the day of his untimely passing was the establishment of Fite Shavell & Associates, with co-founding partner David Fite.
Merging Wade’s passion for real estate with his desire to help people - both agents and clients - through a culture of teamwork and collaborative success, the Fite Shavell brokerage prospers.
Every day of the week, weekends included, Wade loved his life’s work, cherished his firm family and adored Palm Beach, his home.
Wade was a part of the fabric that is Palm Beach and Fite Shavell & Associates is a wonderful part of his legacy.
While Wade will be missed immensely, his death a shock to us all, the Fite Shavell Family will live on in the continued success of the firm and our associates in no small part thanks to Wade’s indelible influence, commitment and heart.
David Fite remembers his business partner fondly, “Wade had an uncanny ability to connect with all types of people and he always had a story to put people at ease. His work life and personal life overlapped, as clients always became friends. I will greatly miss his friendship.”
Fite Shavell & Associates is a strong and vibrant company that sustains thanks to the joint leadership through which it was established.
Since its founding in November 2008, Fite Shavell has sold over $1 billion in real estate. In only four years, the firm has grown aggressively from an organization of 10 to more than 100 associates, with new agents joining weekly.
Fite Shavell has thrived since its inception, opening three office locations – Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Westport CT - with a fourth to come shortly in Delray Beach.
The cornerstone of Fite Shavell & Associates are the values and business practices established by Fite and Shavell when they set out.
These values will continue to live on and through Fite Shavell & Associates.
o To be locally owned and operated with national experience and a global approach to buying and selling Palm Beach county residential real estate
o A Steadfast commitment to clients and customers through unsurpassed service, advice and insightful, market savvy counsel
o To Value our Associates with respect and dignity, continually encouraging development and rewarding fine performance
o To Uphold the highest levels of integrity, honesty and honor at all times
While the firm mourns the loss of our partner, Wade Shavell, we also celebrate his friendship and rich memories.
The Fite Shavell Family looks forward to continuing to pursue with passion the vision of our company that Wade helped to create.
The focus of Fite Shavell & Associates on our clients, our associates and our markets will not waiver.
In celebration of a wonderful man, friend and colleague, Fite Shavell & Associates shares the grief and pain of loss with the Palm Beach community and all who cherish Wade Shavell.
Wade is survived by his loving parents, Pat and Steven Shavell, two sisters, Cathy and Leslie, Brother-in-law Michael, niece Abigail and nephew Andrew.
Wade’s funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach, 190 North County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480 with Rabbi Michael Resnick, officiating.
The interment will follow at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens, Boynton Beach, Florida.
Posted 11/09/12 at 01:48 AM
I have always been a fan of Westportnow, but today when I read the obituary of Wade Shavell, I was disappointed by the website. I was raised in Westport and am currently a resident. The purpose of an obituary is to notify the community about the loss of a loved one, not to dishonor the family. I find it completely inappropriate for Westportnow to have written about the tax evasion felony by Wade and his family. Please retract this awfully written piece and replace it with a dignified overview of Wade’s life.
You people are very insensitive. Until I read about Wade Shavell, I did not know that there was a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later style of obituary writing. Look at this vastly better article http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/news/national/wade-shavell-of-fite-shavell-associates-dead-at-51/nS2Kc/, and step up your game.
(Editor’s note: the following comment has been edited to delete inappropriate language)
This guy tried to cheat the government out of taxes and had his mother help him. Why do you now think we should be kind to [....] I don’t care if it’s an obituary or whatever, this man does not deserve any respect for what he did.
Instead of highlighting the endless contributions that Wade made to our community and to his countless friends and loved ones, this piece chose to focus on a very brief and unfortunate chapter in his life.
Wade excelled at so many things - dominating the real estate market, supporting new talent, cultivating rich and enduring friendships far and wide - all qualities that would have emerged had any solid reporting been done for this piece.
In your disgraceful attempt at sensationalizing the life of a truly good man and real estate legend, you have done a disservice to our dear and treasured friend, to those of us who loved him and to your readers.
WestportNow owes the family and friends of Wade Shavell an apology and an obituary reflecting his talents, his love and loyalty to family and friends and his contributions to his community.
Wade paid his debt to society long ago and your using this troubled time in his life to highlight his obituary is unforgivable.