The Real Deal New York

Russian bank dealt blow in attempt to seize New York properties

Appeals court rules Igor Mavlyanov couldn’t have predicted invasion of Crimea
By Rich Bockmann | October 30, 2017 02:00PM

Igor Mavlyanov

While President Trump’s ties to the Russian government are still up for debate, a jewelry wholesaler who was once likened to the Donald has no particular insight into the whims of Vladimir Putin, a state appeals court ruled earlier this month.

Igor Mavlyanov has been battling in court for more than a year with St. Petersburg-based VTB Bank, which sought to gain control of properties in New York and California to settle a Moscow court’s $37 million judgment.

The Russian court had found that Mavlyanov defaulted on loans to the bank, where the Russian government is a majority shareholder. But before the bank could go after a number of properties owned by Mavlyanov, including a home in Queens’ Fresh Meadows neighborhood and a property in Harlem, it found that he had transferred them to his son.

A New York State Supreme Court judge imposed a preliminary injunction on the properties that prevented the son from selling or refinancing them. But a state appeals court recently ruled that the lower court had erred in granting the injunction.

At the time he transferred the properties, Mavlyanov could not have anticipated world events that would cause interest rates to rise and his company, Yashma Trade and Production, to default on its loans.

“It was sheer speculation that, in December 2013, Igor foresaw that Russia would invade Crimea in 2014 and would be sanctioned as a result and that the Russian economy would collapse in 2015 due to the sanctions, causing Yashima to default on its loans,” a court order read.

State Supreme Court Justice Anil Singh had earlier this year quipped that Mavlyanov might be a “young Donald Trump” regarding his alleged scheme to shield his properties.