Russian Oil Magnate Who Sued Rothschild for Fraud Sees N.Y. Case Tossed
(Bloomberg) -- A former Russian oil magnate’s lawsuit to recover half of his lost $150 million fortune from the Edmond de Rothschild bank was dismissed by a judge in New York.
State Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen on Thursday ruled that the U.S. was the wrong forum for the case, because most of the evidence, defendants and transactions were overseas.
Sergey Bogdanchikov, who rose from the son of a schoolteacher and a farm mechanic on the Russian steppe to lead the energy giant Rosneft at one time, filed the case in New York last year. He claimed that the bank’s Luxembourg unit conspired with a Brighton Beach couple and a Manhattan investment manager to siphon off his fortune through inflated fees and kickbacks while hiding behind “the luster and reputation” of the Rothschild name. Hovering over the case was the allure of Swiss banks as the world’s safest repositories of wealth.
Dismissal of the New York claims against the Brighton Beach couple requires them to make a filing within 14 days to show they accept the jurisdiction of the Luxembourg courts for Bogdanchikov’s case against them there, the judge said. If not, the case can resume in New York, he said.
The ruling means the couple is “now obliged to face justice in Luxembourg,” Alexey Bogdanchikov, Sergey’s son, and a spokesman for him, said in a statement, adding: “We will continue to seek full compensation from Bank Edmond de Rothschild despite this court ruling on technical grounds.”
The bank has denied wrongdoing, and on Thursday a Rothschild spokeswoman in Geneva declined to comment on the case’s dismissal. A lawyer for the couple has also denied wrongdoing, and declined to comment on Cohen’s ruling Thursday. The investment manager settled with Bogdanchikov in September.
The case is Fortinvest Investments Holding S.A. v. Vladimir Oblonsky et al., 655263/2020, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York (Manhattan).
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