A Russian investor, Evgeny Novitsky, has filed a law suit in the Amman court of first instance last Thursday against Jordanian businessman, Samer Muasher, demanding the return of $20 million.
The case was filed ten months after the conclusion of a fraud case brought by the same investor against Muasher before the Amman prosecutor’s office. At that time, prosecutor Rami Tarawneh had ruled that a crime of fraud did in fact take place, but that the case was not followed through because of the time lapse regarding the statute of limitations.
AmmanNet attempted to get the reaction of Samer Muasher on this case, but he refused to comment.
When the attempts to resolve this case via the criminal track failed, the investor had no other choice but to file a law civil law suit in Jordanian courts, AmmanNet has learned.
Advocate Tagrid Doughmi director of the “Waee” program for legal awareness told AmmanNet that a victim of a crime can “follow up the case through the civilian courts to regain his money, even if the case was not prosecuted on the criminal level because of the statute of limitations”.
The investigation by prosecutor Rami Tarwaneh had established in the 19 March 2019 ruling that Samer Muasher had unjustly appropriated the money of the Russian investor for his own financial gain. “The fraud misdemeanor for which Samer Anees Mansour Muasher is accused of did take place during the purchase of the lands in 2006/2007 and the crime was consummated when Muasher misled the witness Kirill (representing the Russian investor) that the 28 checks he presented to him where in fact cashed and used to buy the said land in contradiction to the reality.”
Samer Muasher had subsequently transferred 227 dunums of the land bought in the name of the Russian investor, while he kept for himself (and for his brother Maher) 292 dunums of Khirbet Saada in the Bahath area which is worth 18 JOD today. This land is registered in the names of Samer and his brother Maher even though they never paid a single Dinar for the price of the land, as stated in the statement of claim filed by the Russian investor against Muasher.
The case began in 2007, when the Russian investor who is close to the Kremlin transferred $20.5 million to the account of Samer Muasher so that he can use it to buy land in the Amman suburbs in the name of the Russian investor. He did that after being convinced by Muasher that the money will be doubled in a short period.
Muasher did in fact buy 520 dunums in the Bahath area near Wadi Sir and he paid $20.5 million for it, which is the amount he had received from the Russian investor, Evgeny Novitsky. But when asked how the money was spent, Muasher issued 28 fictitious checks to purporting them to be the same checks he used to pay the owners of the land. Muasher convinced Novitsky that he paid much more for that land from his own pocket and he backed this claim by presenting the fake checks. All the above is documented by the decision of prosecutor Rami Tarawneh who cross examined the land owners who testified that they never saw the checks that had their names with the larger amounts.
When confronted by the attorney general, Samer Muasher did not deny that he had in fact signed those fictitious checks and that he has since shredded them.
The entire elements of this fraud were documented in the decision of the prosecutor.
Legal experts expect that the first instance court will issue a ruling within a year. The Russian investor is hoping for a speedy resolution to this case and for justice to prevail so that the crisis of confidence between Russian investors and Jordan will be overcome. The Russian ambassador to Jordan had sent a three-page letter to Jordan’s foreign minister Ayman Safadi on 20 April 2019 in which he called for the need to “remove all that obstructs the elevation of relations between Jordan and the Russian federation. In his letter, written in Arabic, the ambassador called for a “just and fair resolution of the case based on the legal process of the friendly government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”
For more details, read the report on this case in this 12 May 2019 report by AmmanNet titled: Jordanian businessman deceives Russian investor.
attached: legal document filed in the court