Ex-Mayor of Almaty Loses Bid to Toss U.S. BTA Lawsuit

(Bloomberg) -- A U.S. judge denied a request from a former mayor of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of "looting" $300 million from the city and laundering some of the money through investments, including real-estate projects in Manhattan.

The City of Almaty and Kazakh lender BTA Bank JSC sued Viktor Khrapunov in federal court in New York in 2015. BTA’s former chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, is also accused of being in on the scheme.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected Khrapunov’s claim that neither the city nor the bank had been able to establish personal jurisdiction over him in the U.S.

Nathan on Wednesday also denied Almaty’s and BTA’s request to reinstate racketeering claims against the men. They were thrown out in 2016.

Khrapunov’s son, Iliyas Khrapunov, is Ablyazov’s son-in-law. Both Khrapunovs, who were indicted for fraud and other charges by Kazakh prosecutors, say the allegations are politically motivated. Ablyazov has also denied all the allegations.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.