Federal prosecutors have taken legal action to seize two luxury apartments in New York City worth $14 million. These apartments are said to have been acquired through an alleged corrupt scheme involving Mongolia’s large copper mine. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, reveals a series of transactions totaling $128 million that were obtained through unlawful contracts awarded by a Mongolian state-owned mining company to shell corporations. These transactions reportedly benefited former Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold and his family, including his Harvard Business School graduate son.

According to the lawsuit, during Batbold’s time as Prime Minister, he facilitated the insertion of a middleman with ties to himself into the business dealings between Erdenet Mining Corporation and Ocean Partners. This allowed Batbold to divert millions of dollars for personal use, including the purchase of the two Manhattan apartments in question. Batbold held the position of Prime Minister from 2009 to 2012 and currently serves as a member of the Mongolian parliament.

The lawsuit also mentions another illicit contract worth $30 million from Erdernet Mining, which channeled funds into a U.S. bank account controlled by Batbold’s eldest son, Battushig Batbold. The money was transferred under misleading references such as “car payment,” “trips and travel,” “school payment,” and “interior designer payment.” Battushig Batbold, a Harvard Business School graduate and member of the International Olympic Committee, has worked at prestigious firms such as Blackstone and Morgan Stanley.

In response to the lawsuit, attorney Orin Snyder from the Gibson Dunn law firm, representing Sukhbaatar Batbold and Battushig Batbold, issued a statement denying the allegations. Snyder highlighted that similar claims had been refuted in courts worldwide two years prior, asserting that they were part of a smear campaign aimed at manipulating Mongolian democracy. The attorney emphasized that Batbold is prepared to defend himself against what he termed as baseless accusations in a court of law.

Overall, the lawsuit sheds light on the alleged involvement of high-ranking officials in corrupt activities that span international borders. The case underscores the importance of accountability and transparency in government affairs, especially in the management of valuable national resources like Mongolia’s copper mine. The legal proceedings will likely continue to unravel the intricacies of this corrupt scheme and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

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