Could This Be The Kola Aluko & Diezani Alison-Madueke Loot? U.S. Seeks One57 Condo Cash in Nigerian Oil Corruption Case
The U.S. is seeking to recover $144 million in assets, including proceeds from a luxury condominium on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row in New York, which prosecutors claim were spoils from bribes paid for Nigerian oil contracts, bloomberg.com reports.
The Justice Department, in a lawsuit filed Friday in Houston, said two Nigerian businessmen made corrupt payments to a Nigerian official who oversaw the country’s state-owned oil company in exchange for contracts. They then laundered the money through the U.S., according to the filing.
The men, Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore, purchased real estate, while Aluko bought a luxury cruiser, the government alleges. The lawsuit seeks the forfeiture of the Galactica Star, an $80 million yacht, and a $50 million condo at Manhattan’s One57, according to the Justice Department.
"Corrupt foreign officials and business executives should make no mistake: if illicit funds are within the reach of the United States, we will seek to forfeit them and to return them to the victims from whom they were stolen," Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in a statement.
The Justice Department’s recovery lawsuit comes just days before Aluko’s penthouse at One57, one of Manhattan’s most expensive buildings is scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction forced by his mortgage lender. Aluko defaulted on a $35.3 million loan from Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland SA, which said in court filings earlier this year that he failed to pay back the full loan amount in September.
The auction, scheduled for July 19 in lower Manhattan, would mark the biggest foreclosure in the city’s residential history. Aluko’s condo, apartment 79, is a full-floor, 6,240-square-foot (580-square-meter) penthouse that was the eighth-priciest sold in the building located at 157 W. 57th Street, just across the street from Carnegie Hall, according to real estate data firm PropertyShark. Read More Here