WASHINGTON, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – One of Ukraine’s most powerful tycoons, Dmitry Firtash, has been sued in New York over claims he used fraud and coercion to obtain control of a $50 million soybean plant in Ukraine Courthouse News Service reported Monday.
The lawsuit, filed by New York-based brothers Ilya and Vadim Segal, the former owners of the plant, alleges that Firtash got control of the plant through “a campaign of fraud, physical threats, coercion and corruption,” according to the report.
The suit accuses Firtash, owner of Ukraine’s Nadra bank, of seizing their assets via “sham lawsuits” over debt, and of using his connections to the government of President Viktor Yanukovich to guarantee the outcomes in court cases.
Papers filed in New York County Supreme Court also allege that Firtash used his government contacts to initiate an international manhunt through Interpol for the brothers. The Segals are demanding punitive damages for “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, injurious falsehood and other charges” Courthouse News Service said.
Firtash was previously accused in a New York court of “masterminding” the detention of Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine. The case was dismissed in March this year.