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The United States cannot sell the Russian yacht Amadea

The United States cannot sell the Russian yacht Amadea

A New York court has blocked the US government from selling a luxury yacht it says is owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov. The decision means that American taxpayers are still forced to pay maintenance and insurance costs for the 106-meter-long Amadea ship, or about $740,000 per month.

US taxpayers must spend $740,000 a month to maintain the 106-meter luxury yacht Amadea / Photo: AFP

a Voice of America According to his article, the luxury yacht, worth $230 million, is at the heart of a legal battle over the implementation of US sanctions against Russia. US prosecutors allege that Karimov and his agents conducted dollar transactions through US financial institutions to maintain the yacht, which may constitute a violation of sanctions.

The Fiji government confiscated the yacht Amadea in May 2022 and then handed it over to the United States. The US government wants to sell the yacht and transfer the proceeds to Ukraine. But the process, called civil asset forfeiture, became more complicated when another Russian billionaire, Eduard Khudainatov, who was not included in the US sanctions, claimed that Amadea was actually his.

According to the US, Khudainatov is a straw man – and the person involved denies it

In court filings, the Justice Department called the straw man Khudainatov Karimov, meaning the straw man. Of course, Khudainatov denies this.

So the legal battle over Amadea may continue for some time. Until it is closed, the US government will pay approximately $600,000 per month to maintain the yacht and $140,000 per month to insure it. To reduce these expenses, the United States government requested permission to sell the ship and convert its value into cash. This practice is relatively common in civil forfeiture cases where the asset depreciates quickly or is expensive to maintain.

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But on Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Amadea's maintenance costs were not prohibitive.

In order to judge whether Amadea's maintenance costs are excessive or not, the court must not only look at the total amount of maintenance costs, but primarily consider whether these amounts do not exceed what is usual for the maintenance costs of other facilities, in this The situation of the yachts in comparison, the judge noted in his ruling.

Photo: Agence France-Presse

According to the court's decision, the US government was therefore unable to prove that the expenses were truly excessive. The Department of Justice can still appeal this decision.

Many claim that Khudainatov is the real owner

Lawyers representing Hudaynatov, Karimov and the company that directly owns the yacht Amadea filed a memorandum opposing the US government's efforts to exclude Karimov from the case. The description includes statements from the yacht's employees and contractors that Hdinatov is the real owner, and therefore Amadea cannot be confiscated at all.

Adam Ford and Rene Jarosinski, lawyers for Khudainatov and the company that owns her, said that the US government’s attempts to remove Khudainatov from the case “are nothing more than a desperate attempt to steal a virtual Amadea.”

Luxury Yachts Rich Barometer – Here are the richest yacht owners

The richest people in the world are those who have expensive hobbies and status symbols. One such icon is a luxury yacht that can cost tens of millions of dollars. It is not surprising that the majority of wealthy people are also yacht owners.

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