Posts Tagged ‘pugachev’

January 2015

Russia Leverages Western Courts To Chase Wealthy Fugitives

Radio Free Europe

On a balmy morning in August, Janna Bullock steered a light-blue convertible into the driveway of her oceanfront mansion in the swanky hamlet of Southampton on New York’s Atlantic Coast. Waiting for her was a man bearing a stack of documents.

Bullock, a prominent Manhattan-based real estate tycoon and socialite, accelerated toward the house, hopped out of the car and hustled for the door. The man gave chase and touched her with the documents, saying she’d been served with legal papers, according to a U.S. federal court affidavit.

The documents, part of a civil action lodged against Bullock by state-owned Russian banking giant Gazprombank, fell to the steps in front of the sprawling home and remained there as Bullock sequestered herself inside.

From the gilded shores of the Hamptons and the French Riviera to the London stomping grounds of the super-rich, Russia is pursuing ex-officials and entrepreneurs like Bullock who amassed wealth in Russia and then fled the country after falling afoul of powerful officials.

And despite Moscow’s chilled relations with the West over the Ukraine crisis, these efforts in recent months have yielded several favorable rulings for Russia in U.S. and European courts.

The targets of these legal campaigns claim they are victims of a corrupt Russian state, though some critics say they are merely assuming the mantle of political refugees to protect illicit gains purloined in murky business dealings.

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