A court located in Manhattan in New York, New York brushed away a civil tax fraud case that was worth a whopping $250 million. This case was against Felix Sater, an American businessman who has Russian heritage. The court’s dismissal took place on Wednesday. Sater used to be an associate of President Donald Trump. He co-founded a real estate firm that was known as Bayrock. The case was against not only Sater but also his business. It was classified as being a qui tam case. Qui tam cases enable whistleblowers to handle filing for states. Attorney general’s offices can make the decision regarding potential involvement as well.
The whistleblower in this matter is believed to be Fred Oberlander. Oberlander is an attorney who in the past was a representative for Jody Kriss. Kriss used to be Sater’s partner in business. Oberlander worked with Kriss regarding a suit that involved money laundering matters.
Oberlander said that his qui tam case filing was a response to details that were provided by federal judges. These details came from Kriss’ initial grievances. This information came straight from a lawyer who went to the hearing on Wednesday. The lawyer reported this information straight to Business Insider. He or she indicated that Oberlander’s argument was in no way a success. He or she also indicated that odds of dismissal appeared to be strong.
Robert Wolf is Sater’s attorney. The pair verified the dismissal of the case right after the hearing. The office for Eric Schneiderman refused to get involved with the case in the past. Schneiderman serves as the Attorney General. In February of 2016, he penned a letter that alerted the Supreme Court in New York regarding a press release that was confusing and misleading. This press release came from Oberlander. It stated that Schneiderman had actually given the case his approval. Schneiderman’s office also indicated that it would keep supervising the case in the future. It would do so as a means of safeguarding the rights of the state.
Wolf indicated that the dismissal was related to the merits. The lawyer indicated that the dismissal had nothing to do with procedural matters at all. He said that Oberlander’s name has been given to the DOJ (Department of Justice) on two separate occasions. His name was given alongside Richard Lerner’s. Lerner is a different attorney who is part of the case. These names were given to the department for reasons that involve criminal contempt. This contempt is traced back to misconduct.
Lerner spoke with a reporter and stated that he’s going to appeal the choice. He’s not happy with the idea of throwing the qui tam case away and as a result, wants to take immediate action.
The first lawsuit that was filed against the firm and Sater actually came about back in 2010. This lawsuit was filed by Jody Kriss. Kriss used to work as a finance director for the company. This lawsuit stated that Tevfik Arif Bayrock was generally owned and run by members of the mob. It communicated that the firm took part in a number of repetitive crimes. Examples of these crimes were bank, wire and mail fraud, embezzlement, extortion, bribery, conspiracy and, last but not least, money laundering.
Kriss made accusations against Tevfik Arif and Sater. Tefvik Arif is the founder of the firm. Kriss stated that the pair essentially took millions away from him through fraud, racketing and money laundering. He stated that the pair participated in other forms of misconduct as well. A judge in New York made a ruling in December. The lawsuit was free to proceed as a racketeering matter.