AZERBAIJAN - Feb. 15 - US Claimants Join Socar-Fraud Lawsuit.
Kozeni's lawyers have said he did nothing wrong and that he lost millions of dollars of his own money because Baku has not sold Socar. The first suit stemming from the deal was filed in December 1999 in London by Marlwood Commercial Inc., a subsidiary of the diversified insurance company American International Group, which sought $15m. Two months later, Omega Advisers filed a suit in London, saying it was defrauded of $126m. Columbia University and Pharos Finance joined the Omega suit, bringing total claims in that action to $165m. Columbia University was brought to the investment by Clayton Lewis, a financial adviser at Omega. Lewis met with members of the university's board of trustees, and Columbia invested $15m. Lewis later left Omega and became the managing principal of Pharos Capital and its subsidiary, Pharos Finance. A similar suit was filed by investors against Kozeni in federal court in Denver, Colorado. The judge there has halted action until a judgement is reached in London, but he said last June that investors had a "substantial likelihood" of proving a fraud case against Kozeni. In his defence, Kozeni contends he paid money from investors to Baku officials to ensure the group would get an inside track when Socar was sold. Baku officials disputed his claim, and lawyers connected with the investors said evidence showed that Kozeni spent millions of dollars on houses in London; Aspen, Colorado; and a private island in the Bahamas.
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Feb 17, 2001|
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