On July 31, 2023, John G. Koeltl, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, entered judgment in favor of BTA Bank JSC against Triadou SPV S.A. for more than $193 million, QazMonitor reports citing the press service of BTA Bank.
The judgment followed a jury verdict dated December 2022, which held Triadou liable for embezzlement and unjust enrichment. In addition to the jury verdict, the judge, after reviewing the case file, detailed the rationale for his decision in 66 pages.
As a result, the court recognized BTA's claim against Triadou for the trust property and any funds that may have been derived from the use of BTA's funds, and also granted BTA's claims against a number of Triadou's assets.
The court confirmed that the defendant, Triadou SPV, was a shell company created and controlled by Mukhtar Ablyazov's son-in-law, Ilyas Khrapunov, which received over $70 million in money stolen from the BTA, which the company invested in real estate in New York City and elsewhere in the United States.
As detailed in the court's findings, "the evidence presented at trial shows that the funds invested on behalf of Triadou in the United States are directly related to the $115.3 million stolen from BTA by Ablyazov through another shell company."
Although Ilyas Khrapunov claimed that he sold the parent company Triadou SPV to a third party, Philip Glatz, the court found that: "Glatz's acquisition of [Triadou SPV] was a sham, paid for by Ilyas himself, and that Ilyas Khrapunov continued to control Triadou SPV even after the litigation began."
The court and jury heard from witnesses, including Ablyazov and his associates, as well as expert witnesses who explained the structure of the massive fraud perpetrated on BTA. The court held that the evidence presented by BTA that Ablyazov used BTA's Corporate Business Department (CBD-6) to steal billions of dollars through "fake loans to offshore companies" was credible and complete.
The court concluded: "the offshore companies that were 'clients of the Bank' [CBD-6], were owned or controlled by Ablyazov, and the 'loans' he made had no economic substance. Rather than being arm's-length transactions, the 'loans' facilitated by [CBD-6] were intended to conceal Ablyazov's misappropriation of funds from BTA Bank."
The court rejected the testimony of Ablyazov's associates and their alternative explanation of the source of the funds as "not credible."
Matthew L. Schwartz, Managing Partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and BTA representative: "We were able to prove to the New York judge and jury that Mukhtar Ablyazov defrauded BTA Bank of billions of dollars and laundered the stolen money in the United States. This case was an important step in BTA Bank's efforts to restore justice and was critical to bringing Ablyazov and his associates to justice. We are grateful for the careful consideration of the evidence by the jury and the United States District Court."