Prepayment of London penthouse rent draws attention to dubious of source funds

The 22-year-old penthouse tenant's father is an ex-prime minister of Moldova serving a 9-year prison sentence for bank theft

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

A student who prepaid £390,000 ($500,000) of rent for a penthouse in London raised suspicion at the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the U.K., and now he faces a forfeiture order for profiting from his father’s crimes.

A London judge last week ordered the student, 22-year-old Vlad Luca Filat, to forfeit nearly £500,000 because NCA investigators believe the source of his money is illegal activity by his father, Vladimir Filat, the ex-prime minister of Moldova, a former Soviet republic.

Valdimir Filat has been imprisoned since his 2016 conviction for his role in the disappearance of $1 billion from three banks in Moldova. He is serving a nine-year sentence.

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His son Vlad Luca has no registered income in the U.K., and bank records show that big deposits from overseas companies, mainly in Turkey and the Cayman Islands, funded his living expenses.

After he moved to London in July 2016, Vlad Luca spent heavily on such luxury goods as a £200,000 Bentley automobile.

By May 2018, however, U.K. authorities froze three bank accounts in his name. On Tuesday, a London judge ordered the forfeiture of nearly £500,000 from the frozen bank accounts. [Bloomberg]Mike Seemuth