Former Ukrainian prime minister can negotiate for frozen assets

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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Pavlo Lazarenko, who was convicted in the US in August 2006 for engaging in a US $250 million fraud scheme, has been granted the right to negotiate with Antigua & Barbuda over some of his frozen assets.

According to Courthousenews.com, US District Judge Paul Friedman granted the motion on March 23 as part of a motion filed by Lazarenko since 2015.

The news agency said Lazarenko’s motion was granted in part and denied it in part. This comes almost two years after he had filed the application and over a year after a significant portion of the money was forfeited in the court in Antigua & Barbuda.

While he said he would allow Lazarenko to negotiate with Antigua over the seized funds, Friedman cautioned the disgraced politician that any settlement or proceeds he secures would automatically be subject to a 2005 restraining order, and that those proceeds must be deposited, in their entirety, into an account controlled by the Registrar of the High Court of Antigua & Barbuda.

Friedman said the court must promptly receive notice when each of these events occurs, and that these conditions apply not only to Lazarenko, but to his children as well.

The US filed its criminal case against Lazarenko in 2004, accusing him and several associates of carrying out a massive scheme of fraud, extortion, bribery, misappropriation and/or embezzlement throughout the 1990s.

It also filed a request for a restraining order to secure and preserve tens of millions of dollars scattered in bank accounts in Antigua & Barbuda, Guernsey, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, and Switzerland.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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