Why the United States wants to seize a Los Angeles mega-mason – NBC Los Angeles
Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of a Los Angeles mega-mansion in the community of Holmby Hills.
Investigators say the 33,652 square foot property near Hugh Hefner’s former Playboy Mansion was bought with millions in bribes paid to Armenia’s former finance minister and his sons.
In a statement Thursday, the US Department of Justice said the home was purchased for $14.4 million in 2011 by a trust in the name of Gagik Khachatryan, 66, and his two sons. They all face criminal charges in Armenia.
It is unclear if they have an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
Khachatryan chaired the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia from 2008 to 2014 and was finance minister of the Republic of Armenia from 2014 to 2016, the justice ministry said. In the lawsuit filed Monday in a Los Angeles court, it is alleged that a businessman, also indicted in Armenia, paid him and his family more than $20 million in bribes. wine for business-friendly tax treatment.
At least some of those payments were used to buy the Holmby Hills mansion on South Mapleton Drive in those hills above Los Angeles’ Westside. The government alleges that the house was purchased illegally with the proceeds of an offense against a foreign nation involving the bribery of a public official.
Khachatryan was known as the “super minister” due to his many responsibilities.
The French Norman-style estate has 11 bedrooms and 26 full or partial bathrooms. It also has a swimming pool, a wine cellar, a home cinema and a maid’s room, according to a real estate ad.
The property went on the market last month with an asking price of $63.5 million, the federal complaint says.