The purchase of the Los Angeles mansion by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has generated high interest. Stories in the UK media in particular have focused upon the purchase and its former owner, the ‘Scarface Oligarch’, so named by LawFuel in our original story about this mysterious man who faces a flurry of accusations, rumors and lawsuits Stateside. Among those most disappointed in the purchase of the home are a former wife and LA filmmaker who are embroiled in legal battles with Sergey Grishin.
A mansion owned by Grishen was used in the movie ‘Scarface’ featuring Al Pacino as the Miami-based gangster, although the house itself is in Montecito, California.
The LawFuel story about Russian businessman Sergey Grishin, the Scarface Oligarch, reported on his battle with his former wife, which included a range of extraordinary claims relating to his relationships with glamorous women (he has been married three times) – including a Russian described by the Gazprom-owned NTV channel as a ‘porn webcam model’ – have led to a number of legal battles in the United States, including alleged death threats.
Grishin’s wealth, estimated at anything up or down from USD500 million, includes claims from Finans magazine that he is ‘one of the most mysterious Russian bankers’, who made his first money in selling electronics and petrol.’
In one video filmed on his jet, he claimed he made Russian bankers use a Polish-designed pen to write cheques for $2million with the inc then disappearing so he could, so the reports say, write cheques for $250 million.
One of those involved in litigation with Grishin, LA filmmaker Jennifer Sulkess, said it was a pity that Meghan and Harry had not done their due diligence prior to making their purchase of the Scarface Oligarch mansion.
Her legal battle with Grishin began three years ago when he filed a lawsuit accusing her and ex wife Anna Fedoseeva of having a lesbian affair and trying to defraud millions of dollars from him.
He claims the women failed to pay back $564,000 he lent them to fund a movie they were making – claims both strongly deny.
They hit back in a counter suit alleging that Grishin “sent numerous death threats, violent images, and pornographic images to his wife and Sulkess in text and video messages”.
Fedoseeva and Sulkess are seeking $125 million in damages accusing him of assault, battery, extortion, domestic violence, invasion of privacy and cyberstalking. A hearing in the case will take place in LA in October but the trial has been postponed due to COVID-19.
In one case intiated by Grishan he is asserting the 5th amendment in the lawsuit.
However Jennifer Sulkess says it is “heartbreaking” to her that Meghan and Harry, who are fierce supporters of women’s rights, did not do their “due diligence” on Grishin and are now “lining his pockets”.
“The thing that I struggle with in this is not to demonize them for buying a house, but he should not be lining his pockets with their money,” she told The Sun.
“As a woman who has had to deal with all this, it’s very difficult to to wake up and see Sergey Grishin selling his house to such high stature people, especially somebody like Meghan who has been such a strong advocate for women’s rights.”
“I believe it’s important to speak out and hopefully we’ll gain some more allies instead of picking up the computer and seeing that two allies that we would love to have are buying a house from him,” she said.
Lawyers for Grishin deny the various allegations, saying in a statement: “Numerous false, defamatory and entirely unproven allegations against Sergey Grishin have been made and widely published without a shred of c orroboration and by sourceswhose credibility is seriously in doubt.”
Bank Fraud Claims
The media also reported on Grishin’s accusations of facing claims of defrauding a bank of billions, as well as allegedly attempting to gain a $20 million payout from a life insurance policy together with two fellow Russians. The insurance fraud case was dismissed, with the men denying the allegations.
The three men, according to The Sun, are also involve din the sale of the house to Meghan and Harry, who purchased the property for almost half its USD27 million market value.
One of the former defendants, Tim Pinkevich, is a right hand man for Grishin, according to media reports.
“He brokers a lot of deals for rich people, mostly Europeans and Russians and some celebrities, not just real estate but planes, he once bought and sold one to Nicolas Cage.
“He’s a good right hand man, a real boss and very accomplished, he has three phones with him at all times,” the Sun reported.
Meanwhile, LawFuel has faced legal threat from New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp, representing some former partners of disintegrating law firm Pierce Bainbridge, then Grishin’s law firm. Former Pierce Bainbridge partner Amman Khan from law firm Withers Bergman now represents the oligarch in relation to the Los Angeles legal proceedings between Grishin and Sulkess and Fedoseeva.