Prosecutors seized assets, including a 15-hectare undeveloped mountaintop overlooking Los Angeles, that was purchased with funds that were allegedly embezzled by former senior officials from the Kuwaiti Department of Defense, the U.S. Attorney said on Friday.
Ex-Kuwaiti officials have reportedly used the Defense Department's London office to open at least six unauthorized bank accounts between 2009 and 2016, and transferred more than $ 100 million in Kuwaiti public funds from the National Bank of Kuwait to the London accounts in Los Angeles Federal Supreme Court Thursday.
Photos: Beverly Hills Property with breathtaking 360-degree views is still on the market
Prosecutors allege that some, in order to disguise the nature of the renditions, have been wrongly described as being for military use. According to the complaints, the funds were actually transferred to several California companies and had no business or contractual relationship with the MOD.
The United States is trying to recover at least $ 104 million that is said to have been laundered in and by U.S. financial institutions, the U.S. Attorney General said.
After being listed for $ 1 billion at the summit property in Beverly Hills, it was sold to its lender last year after decades in the real estate market at a foreclosure sale for only $ 100,000. For reference, Anaheim's Disneyland is about 0.13 square miles, just over half the size of the property.
According to Forbes, the country has been owned by trusts, corporations, and celebrities, including talk show host and game show producer Merv Griffin, since the 1970s. It was bought by Iran's Shah's sister in the 1970s before being sold to Griffin, according to the CNBC.
According to the complaints, after the funds were transferred to California's bank accounts, they were used to buy or contribute to the property at 1652 Tower Park Drive in Beverly Hills, known as Mountain, three Beverly Hills houses Penthouse and apartment in Westwood, a private jet, a yacht, a Lamborghini sports car, and memorabilia from the boxer Manny Pacquiao worth $ 40,000.
Each asset is subject to forfeiture complaints.
Prosecutors said the California companies who received the illegal funds were allegedly linked to a Los Angeles man – Victorino Noval, 58, formerly known as Victor Jesus Noval – who was convicted in 2003 of a multimillion dollar postal fraud and tax evasion -Dollar credit fraud against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Noval was sentenced to 57 months in prison and sentenced to more than $ 25 million restitution.