Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: The Palatial Properties That [Pounds Sterling]2bn Fraud Suspect Failed to Disclose

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Revealed: The Palatial Properties That [Pounds Sterling]2bn Fraud Suspect Failed to Disclose

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Craven and Paul Cheston

THE extent of the property empire of the man accused of being the world's biggest fraudster can be revealed today.

Mukhtar Ablyazov, 47, who is being sued for [pounds sterling]2.5 billion, faces the threat of up to two years in jail for failing to comply with court orders to disclose his vast worldwide business dealings.

He has been required by the courts to reveal his assets for more than two years, but repeated failure to do so led High Court judge Mr Justice Teare to freeze them, block any future business deals and seize his passport. The judge has expressed his astonishment that such a powerful businessman could appear to forget so much of what he owns.

Here the Standard offers Mr Ablyazov a reminder of the palatial residences he can call home in London and the home counties. He lives with his family in The Bishop's Avenue, dubbed Billionaires' Row, in Hampstead.

He had said he only rented the property but his creditors say documents show it is owned by one of many companies linked to him.

His portfolio also includes properties in Egham, Windlesham and two around Camden.

The former head of the state-run BTA bank in his native Kazakhstan, he fled to London, accused of conspiring to siphon money out of the bank through fake loans and share sales, leaving it $12 billion in debt.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, 83 per cent owned by the Government, is among the creditors which will receive 50 per cent of any clawback from Mr Ablyazov, against whom there are six legal actions. He denies flouting any court order and is fighting the attempt to have him imprisoned. He says he is entirely innocent and the victim of political and financial persecution by Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Kazakhstan government is seeking his extradition to stand trial there, but he has asylum to remain in Britain.

In the most recent High Court hearings, one of his aides, Anatoly Ereshchenko, admitted lying on oath. …

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