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Moscow court says registered suit vs. Bank of New York-1

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The Moscow Arbitration Court said Wednesday it had registered the Russian customs service's $22.5 billion damage lawsuit against the Bank of New York (BoNY).
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MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Arbitration Court said Wednesday it had registered the Russian customs service's $22.5 billion damage lawsuit against the Bank of New York (BoNY).

The Federal Customs Service accused last Thursday the bank of laundering untaxed profits of Russian exporters in 1996-99 and said it had filed the suit with the Moscow Arbitration Court. There was no immediate confirmation from the court last week.

"The lawsuit has been registered, and preliminary hearings will be fixed in the next few days," court spokesperson Maria Raben said.

Experts doubt that customs authorities would recover such a huge sum. But lawyers acting for the service said the sum was legitimate as the BoNY had admitted that $7.5 billion had been laundered at the time, and under U.S. law the plaintiff could demand compensation three times the original loss.

The bank, which pleaded guilty of violating U.S. laws on control over financial flows in 2005 and was ordered to pay a $38 million fine, dismissed the new claim Thursday, saying the case had been resolved.

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