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American jury awards BTA Bank more than £218 million in trial over Ablyazov’s theft and money laundering

After a three-week trial, the jury of four men, four women, and the United States District Court for Southern District of New York rendered a verdict in favor of BTA Bank JSC. They ruled that Triadou SPV S.A. was liable for damages exceeding USD $100 million. There were also interest payments dating back to mid-2013. This total award is more than USD 218 million. The trial was presided over by the Honorable John G. Koeltl (United States District Judge for Southern District of New York) who received the verdict today.

The trial began on November 29th, 2022. It was the first time that BTA Bank presented evidence about the massive fraud and money laundering schemes orchestrated by Mukhtar Abdullyazov in a contested case. BTA Bank was Kazakhstan’s third largest bank at the time of the fraud being exposed in 2009. Ablyazov’s multi-billion-dollar theft resulted in the Bank being nationalized, which cost taxpayers more than one billion dollars.

Triadou SPV is the defendant. It is a shell corporation that Ablyazov’s son in law, Ilyas Khrapunov created and controls. The company received more than USD $70million in stolen money from BTA and it was used to invest in real estate in New York City as well as elsewhere in the United States. Triadou, which has been litigating the case for more than seven years, presented its defense to jurors at trial.

The trial lasted approximately three weeks and featured testimony from several witnesses. These included former employees of UKB-6, which was the bank’s division during Ablyazov’s tenure and those who were involved in the money laundering scheme. The jury also heard testimony from key conspirators, such as Gennady Peterlin, who was held out to be the legitimate source for Triadou’s wealth, Ilyas Krapunov, who oversees Triadou’s investments, and Mukhtar Alyazov. The jury returned a verdict today in favor of BTA and found that Tridaou knew Ablyazov had laundered money from BTA.

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Phillipe Glatz from Brazil and Switzerland represented Triadou at the trial. Glatz claims that he purchased Triadou’s parent company in 2013 directly from the Khrapunov families. Over the course of three days Glatz was interviewed by Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP’s U.S. attorney. During that examination, Glatz was forced into admitting that he knew Triadou was his parent. He also admitted that he did not speak to Triadou’s parents during his purported due diligence.

Matthew L. Schwartz is managing partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP and counsel for BTA. He stated: “For more than a decade, BTA Bank has been working to recover its assets worldwide. This case gave jurors the chance to hear directly from those involved in this conspiracy. The jury unanimously ruled that BTA Bank had been defrauded and awarded Triadou significant damages for its part in the scheme. We were honored to be able to present the evidence to a U.S. jury and we are delighted with the verdict in favor our client. This should lead to a recovery of over $200 million. We are grateful to the jury for their careful consideration of the evidence.

Mukhtar Ablyazov was accused of laundering money to the United States in New York City proceedings. BTA and Almaty proved that Ablyazov and Ilyas Khrapunov, as well as former Almaty mayor Viktor Khrapunov, disobeyed court orders and destroyed evidence and refused to disclose required information. Numerous orders were issued by the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York sanctioning Ablyazov, Ilyas Khrapunov, and subsequently holding Ablyazov in contempt. BTA gathered more substantial evidence about Ablyazov’s crime and secured testimony from many witnesses. This led to today’s verdict.


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