250 million dollar case dismissed

According to the theory of six degrees of separation, everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. And when it comes to the strange bedfellows of politics and business, this is almost definitely true. When you add two this mixture a pitch of international trade and alleged impropriety, things can get very litigious indeed.

As a matter of fact, this litigation can go all the way up to the level of state courts and involve presidents at times. Unfortunately every now and again, there can be a row of names involved from various circles of society, which resemble something like a game of telephone played on the schoolyard during recess. This one says something about that one and wants to convey a message about some going-ons after class, and before anyone can know what is really going on a fight nearly breaks out.

This particular case of telephone gone wrong ending in a court case is about a 250 million dollar civil case a Manhattan Court shot down against Felix Sater who is a founder of Bayrock. The case is not your average ordinary grievance, in the sense that it was filed on behalf of the state by Fred Oberlander. And, that is only the beginning of the complexities in this matter. Oberlander is a representative of one of Sater’s past business investors named Jody Kriss.


To be perfectly honest one of the cornerstones in the case against Sater is information that was removed from an earlier and presumably unrelated case also filed by Oberlander. Robert Wolfe is the representing counsel for defense on the Manhattan case, and really did not show much distress regarding the matter. The simple fact is insiders predicted a loss for the plaintiffs and no government intervention before the parties stepped into court and that is exactly what happened.

The meat potatoes of the circumstances is that Oberlander had a problem with Felix Sater and the business he and Tevfik Arif founded together (Bayrock). Jody Kriss states that the business was handled and managed by organized crime involved in such shenanigans as embezzlement and racketeering. These questionable business practices resulted in fraud in the amount of millions of dollars.

Evidence that somewhat supports this allegation is a fact that Tevfik Arif Doyen and Felix Sater negotiated projects with Donald Trump and his organization to begin construction on certain projects without disclosing their full backgrounds. In a deposition, Trump who was not president at the time states that his organization would not have done business with the Bayrock founders had he known who they really are.

And although these facts do make for very interesting lessons on how to run a business and whom to trust when investing, the courts feel that it is not enough to go forward with proceedings. This decision is seen as one made on the flavor of the case and not so much its procedural foundation. It is good to know that when one walks into court they must have clean hands. And, there’s something fishy going on with this deal. So, the court gave the easiest answer in the world, which is “no”.

The court also didn’t like the fact that some of the evidence brought in before them is something that had already been said no to before. Since there was really no new evidence to resent and judges usually don’t like to disagree with one another, the case was dismissed. Weather Oberlander and Kriss are still feeling slighted enough to see if a third time might do the trick is still in the air.

But for the time being, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater appear to be in safe positions. Even if they are not exactly popular among the courts, a former businessman turned president, and their former investors. But like the saying goes you can’t please everybody all the time.