Ukrainian’s efforts to recover money will likely be futile, says Hurst

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The government’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst has said that any legal action by former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Pavlo Lazarenko, to recover frozen assets in Antigua will likely be an exercise in futility.
Lazarenko was convicted in the United States (US) for crimes including money laundering, and his assets in Antigua & Barbuda had been frozen since 2004.
After Lazarenko filed a motion in US federal court in 2015 while incarcerated, US District Judge Paul Friedman, on March 23, 2016, granted him the permission to negotiate some of his frozen assets with the government of Antigua & Barbuda.
However, Hurst said, “The American court is allowing him to proceed but that has nothing to do with the Antiguan courts and the Antiguan law. He still has to face the Antiguan law which says that if you have committed money laundering and have been convicted of it, then you lose your assets.”
On September 14, 2016, the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) issued a release stating that the High Court of Justice had declared US $66.7 million dollars of ill-gotten gains amassed by Lazarenko, to be forfeited to the government of Antigua & Barbuda.
Hurst said, “Our law is clear. So he can be allowed by the American court to start an action in Antigua, but I suspect that his lawyer in Antigua will advise him how things work here.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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