Members of the Turkish family of business tycoon Uzan are suing various groups including Vodafone, Motorola and BlackRock for $68 billion in assets and potential profits, which they say were “fraudulently” taken from companies related to the company. Associated with or were previously. Family.
The civil case, which was initiated in Paris by two Uzán brothers living in France, pertains to allegations of “gross abuse of power” by the Caisse d’Epargne et des Depots (TMSF). When lenders go bankrupt, Turkish public bodies take over the banks as well as other assets held by their owners.
The sprawling saga dates back two decades and involves more than 50 defendants, including TMSF and dozens of Turks, whom the Uzan family says conspired or aided in the seizure of state businesses and properties.
Sam Cengiz Uzan, who obtained political asylum in France according to his lawyer and his brother Murat Hakan Uzan, alleged that more than 130 companies, whose family members were shareholders or beneficial owners, had “fraudulently confiscated” their assets. saw.
They claim that there was no evidence that these companies or their owners had any connection with the illegal activities allegedly carried out by the now defunct Imar Bank, which was also related to the Uzan family, which was owed nearly $6 billion. There was an allegation of embezzlement of money. . While not the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, the Uzan family denies any suspected bank-related fraud, which they say has never been proven.
In 2004, TMSF seized the Uzan family’s growing media and energy business empire to “recover public money” lost in the fall of Imar. He then sold assets to groups such as BlackRock to pay off some billions of dollars in bad debt.
Motorola’s involvement in the case dates back to 1998, when the US conglomerate granted a $2 billion loan to Telsim, the Uzan-owned telecommunications company, which was in default later. In the early 2000s, a US district court found that Uznax had committed “large-scale fraud” by obtaining loans from Motorola. Telsim was later sold to Vodafone for $4.5 billion.
A TMSF spokesperson said the regulator had not received any official notice of the lawsuit and could not comment further at this time.
Motorola said it was aware of the complaints filed in France, which it described as “part of the Uzan family’s continued efforts to avoid a multimillion-dollar judgment in favor of Motorola Credit Corporation”.
“Motorola Solutions intends to continue its legal proceedings to achieve full recovery of the amount owed to it by Uznax.”
Vodafone said it was not made aware of the matter and the allegation that it helped defraud the Uzan family is “strongly denied, refuted by the facts and made within the framework of legal proceedings”. will be strongly defended”.
BlackRock declined to comment.
The $68 billion claimed by Uznaks is concerned about the value of the assets when they were sold and the dividends they say they have received since then.
As the Turkish government took over Uzan’s assets, many investors saw the move as a commitment to the rule of law.
Kem Uzan’s flight from Turkey more than a decade ago saved him a lengthy prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to belonging to a criminal organization engaged in counterfeiting, corruption and fraud. Turkey has demanded its withdrawal from France, arguing that it has caused a lot of damage to the global economy.
Before his humiliation, Uzan crossed paths with some of the most distinguished personalities in the world. A 2018 biography of Prince Charles claims billionaire Kem Uzan made a charitable donation of £200,000 to have his wife sit next to the prince at a dinner party in 2000.
The Uzan case follows in the footsteps of another dramatic legal movement in France. Scottish oil producer Cairn Energy has said it has effectively confiscated Indian state assets in Paris, a claim it has made as a result of a long-running tax dispute between the company and the Indian government.
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