In a bid to recover assets that includes hefty amount: a $50 million Manhattan apartment and an $80 million yacht, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit as the properties were bought using money that was generated from a scheme to pay millions of dollars to a former Nigerian oil minister.
The civil lawsuit, filed in the federal court in Houston, alleged that two Nigerian businessman, Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Olajide Omokore conspired with some unnamed persons to pay bribes to the minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who oversaw the African country’s state-owned oil company. According to the lawsuit, Alison-Madueke directed profitable contracts with a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp to companies that was owned by the two businessmen.
But these companies, despite being unqualified and failure to perform services under the stated contracts has been successful in receiving more than $1.5 billion in revenues through the sale of crude oil. After their share of profit, they laundered their illegitimate revenues through the United States to buy $144 million in assets including the Manhattan condominium and the $80 million yacht, the Galactica Star.
And the oh-yes-expensive condominium is located in One57, a skyscraper located near Central Park on a street in Midtown Manhattan that is ruggedly known as “Billionaire’s Row.”