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Kazakhstan City Lawsuit Alleges Beverly Hills Mansions Used for Money Laundering

May 14, 2014 12:14 am by: Category: Crime + Courts, News Leave a comment
Court news on WestsideToday.com. (Thinkstock)

Court news on WestsideToday.com. (Thinkstock)

The largest city in Kazakhstan sued its former mayor and members of his family today in Los Angeles, alleging Beverly Hills properties were used to conceal ill-gotten gains.

The suit accuses Viktor Khrapunov and his wife, Leila, of engaging in ascheme involving the sale of Almaty municipal assets.

An effort to contact the defendants today for comment on the litigation was unsuccessful.

According to the civil complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, Khrapunov used his position and influence as mayor of Almaty to illegally sell city-owned assets to benefit himself, his wife and other co-conspirators.

The lawsuit claims that while Khrapunov served as mayor from 1997 to 2004, he and his wife systematically looted city assets by arranging auctions of state-owned real estate at below market value to entities they controlled.

Khrapunov then illegally granted entitlements to those assets, and the Khrapunovs later sold the property at substantially higher prices, the suit contends, alleging that Viktor Khrapunov misappropriated city funds and personal property.

According to the lawsuit, the Khrapunovs created a lavish lifestyle for themselves and their two children, one which included the purchase of Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles, a $32 million estate in Geneva, along with a series of Mediterranean-style mansions in Beverly Hills cumulatively valued at about $18 million and a two-acre estate in an exclusive enclave in Los Angeles valued at an estimated $5.7 million.

The lawsuit seeks return of the funds to the City of Almaty and an injunction against the defendants preventing them from disposing of proceeds from their alleged fraud.

The suit also alleges that the Khrapunovs and their children, Ilyas and Elvira, violated both United States and Kazakh law when they  set out to launder proceeds from their scheme. Ilyas Khrapunov owns a home in Beverly Hills and Elvira Khrapunov lives in Studio City, the suit states.

“Khrapunov, along with his family and their cronies, took advantage of his position to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars from the people of Kazakhstan and then went on a worldwide shopping spree to hide the money,” said plaintiffs’ attorney David Schindler. “We are confident that the United States does not want to be a money laundry for the world’s corrupt leaders, and
we are seeking the return of the people’s assets that are wrongfully harbored in the United States.”

The lawsuit seeks return of the funds to the City of Almaty and an injunction against the defendants preventing them from disposing of proceeds from their alleged fraud.

Kazakhstan City Lawsuit Alleges Beverly Hills Mansions Used for Money Laundering Reviewed by on . [caption id="attachment_97449" align="alignleft" width="300"] Court news on WestsideToday.com. (Thinkstock)[/caption] The largest city in Kazakhstan sued its fo [caption id="attachment_97449" align="alignleft" width="300"] Court news on WestsideToday.com. (Thinkstock)[/caption] The largest city in Kazakhstan sued its fo Rating: 0

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