A $250 million civil tax fraud case was dismissed in a Manhattan court on Wednesday. Business Insider monitored the case against Russian-American businessman Felix Sater. Sater is a former associate of President Donald Trump through a real-estate company called Bayrock owned by Tevfik Arif. The civil tax fraud case was being prosecuted as a qui tam case. The qui tam case is essentially a case in which a whistle blower can sue on the behalf of the state.
Attorney general offices have the prerogative of joining in qui tam cases or of not participating in qui tam cases. A lawyer named Fred Oberlander was the whistle blower in this case. He has the distinction of representing other parties related to Salter in other cases against Bayrock such as a money-laundering suit. Oberlander admits that the complaint was alleged because of information withheld in the original complaint according to those attending Wednesday’s hearing. Attorney Robert Wolf along with Sater confirmed the case’s dismissal soon after the hearing adjourned.
Sources exclaim that the proceedings were not favorable for the plaintiffs from the beginning of the morning’s proceedings an according to professionals, the likelihood of dismissal was high because Oberlander used information that was removed from the case at a prior interval.
Through Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, the decision was made not to intervene in the cases last year, and Olbetman still asserted that he went ahead with the case under direction from the attorney general’s office with promises of participation. This is patently false, so the case was considered weak from the initial phases of the days proceedings.
In response, the attorney generals office pledged enhanced vigilance on the proceedings to protect the state’s interests regarding the case.
The lawyer for the defendant pointed out in an interview that the case was not dismissed based on procedural grounds, but in fact, the rejection by the courts was a merit based award with real implications of finality. Twice before, Lerner has been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal attempt in this ongoing saga in reference to malfeasance in this case on the part of Lerner’s team. Lerner signals his intention to appeal.
The primary suit against the company including Sater was initiated in 2010 by former executive Jody Kriss who was not a party to the case initiated by Oberlander later. He suit basically alleges that Bayrock was a criminal organization much like the mob. It details the many ways the company’s business practices were basically mob initiated criminal activities like conspiracy, bribery, bank fraud and other crimes like tax evasion, but the list continues.
Kriss asserted that Sater and Tevfik Arif Bayrock, defrauded him for amounts totaling in the millions with, money laundering schemes and with other criminal misconduct. These assertions were made valid when a New York judge ruled that the lawsuit could continue with racketeering as a basis.
The initial complaint as filed by Kriss detailed that Sater and Tevfik Arif began meeting with the Trump Organization for marketing projects but that Trump was unaware of any criminality.
While being deposed years later, Trump asserted that his organization does not do business with known criminals and would have abstained from business with Sater had his criminality been known. He also stated that he did not know him personally, but some in the organization report personal meetings with Trump whose office was closely positioned in the same building.
However, Trump also stated that Russia was a great place to do business, and any investor would operate in that market if investing wisely exclaiming how great an investment opportunity they provided currently.