Feds target $14 million New York apartments tied to ex-Mongolia leader in mining scheme

Federal prosecutors sued on Tuesday to confiscate two New York City apartments worth $14 million that were allegedly purchased with earnings from a corrupt scheme involving Mongolia’s massive copper mine, the country’s former prime minister, and his Harvard Business School graduate son.

The action, filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, describes a total of $128 million in allegedly illegal contracts issued by a Mongolian state-owned mining business to shell companies, which enriched then-Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold and his family, including his oldest son.

“During Batbold’s tenure as Prime Minister, Erdenet Mining Corporation inserted a middleman with ties to Batbold into the relationship with [the commodity trading firm] Ocean Partners, allowing Batbold to siphon off millions of dollars for his personal use and benefit, which included the purchase of the” top-of-the-line apartments in Manhattan, the lawsuit claims.

Batbold served as prime minister from 2009 until 2012. He is now a member of the Mongolian Parliament.

According to the lawsuit, money from another allegedly illegal contract for $30 million from Erdernet Mining was wired into the eldest son, Battushig Batbold,’s bank account in the United States using the terms “car payment,” “trips and travel,” “school payment,” and “interior designer payment.”

Batbold’s son, Battushig Batbold, a Harvard Business School graduate, is a member of the IOC.

Battushig Batbold also worked as a summer associate at Blackstone in 2014 and as a mining analyst at Morgan Stanley from 2009 to 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In an email to CNBC, Orin Snyder, an attorney at the Gibson Dunn firm that represents Sukhbaatar Batbold and Battushig Batbold, stated, “The claims filed today echo allegations our clients defeated two years ago in courts around the world.”

“In those cases, we proved the claims against Mr. Batbold were the product of a misinformation campaign designed to manipulate Mongolian democracy — a campaign secretly directed by Mr. Batbold’s opponents.”

“Mr. Batbold looks forward to his day in court when he will have the opportunity to defend himself against these unfounded claims,” the lawyer stated.

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