NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S.-based asset manager, Kingstown Capital Management L.P. and Investhold Ltd. (“the Plaintiffs”) today announced its appeal against the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) lawsuit filed in April 2019 against Czech oligarch, Radovan Vitek, and other co-conspirators.
In a decision of first instance, the court ruled that it is more appropriate for the lawsuit to be pursued in a European jurisdiction as opposed to in the United States. The court did not take into consideration the merits or legitimacy of the plaintiffs’ claims, at the heart of which allege a long-running scheme on the part of Vitek, a Forbes billionaire with business interests throughout Europe, and his co-conspirators to defraud and engage in other criminal conduct.
The claim details a series of racketeering activities, including wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes, enabling Vitek to make billions of dollars at the expense of the Plaintiffs. Detailed in the complaint also are the efforts of Vitek to covertly grow his scheme into an extensive international conspiracy over a period of a decade.
Matthew L Schwartz, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and counsel to the plaintiffs, said: “Our clients are committed to seeing justice done and we are fully confident in the merits of the case, which were not dealt with in the court’s decision. We maintain that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is an appropriate forum for these claims to be heard and are appealing on this basis.”
The complaint states that in 2017, the Luxembourg financial regulator, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (“CSSF”), launched an investigation into Vitek, Jean-Francois Ott, and CPI Property Group and found that “Vitek and Ott had ‘acted in covert concert,’ secretly controlled real estate company ORCO, and therefore violated Luxembourg and European law.” As a result the CSSF fined Vitek and Ott for market manipulation infringements.