Who's Suing Whom: Millionaire acts over a `secret conspiracy'

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The Independent Online
THE MARC RICH group of commodity trading companies is suing three former employees and a clutch of businesses based in London, Jersey and Gibraltar over an alleged multi-million pound "secret conspiracy to defraud" the firm.

The action is being brought by a series of companies founded by Marc Rich, an American millionaire who fled the US for Switzerland after he was indicted by a Federal grand jury in New York in 1983 on charges of tax evasion, racketeering and participating in illegal oil deals with Iran.

Mr Rich's group of companies is today one of the world's largest traders of oil, metals and minerals.

Three of the plaintiff companies, Marc Rich & Co Holdings GmbH, Marc Rich & Co Investment Ag and Novarco AG, are based in Mr Rich's present home town of Zug, Switzerland. The other two, Marc Rich Investment Ltd and Novarco (UK) Ltd, are based in Compass House, Redan Place, in west London.

The Marc Rich companies are collectively suing three former employees for a series of unspecified and allegedly fraudulent transactions. The three are Alex Krasner, of 98 Winnington Road, London; Jonathan Graff, of Coombe Hill, Kingston on Thames; and Julia Eaton, of Fernhead Road, London.

Two of the defendant companies, Bexley Management and Serena Investments, are registered at Mr Krasner's address. The other defendants are Hussar Ltd of St Helier, Jersey, and Ironsight Ltd and CIP Resources Ltd, both of Wall Road, Gibraltar.

BORIS BEREZOVSKY, one of Russia's richest businessmen and a former member of Boris Yeltsin's Security Council, was granted leave in the Court of Appeal in London last week to sue the American magazine Forbes for describing him as "the godfather of the Kremlin".

Mr Berezovsky, executive secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Nikolai Glouchkov, a member of the board of directors of Aeroflot, originally launched their joint libel suit against Forbes over an article which appeared on 30 December 1996.

In October 1997 Mr Justice Popplewell ruled that the case could be heard in Russia or America, but not in England, since neither the plaintiffs nor the defendent resided here. Last week the Court of Appeal overturned Mr Justice Popplewell's ruling, saying the case could be heard in England after all.

This September Mr Berezovsky played a key role in securing the release of two British hostages from Chechnya. Camilla Carr and Jon James were freed after Mr Berezovsky arranged a gift of dozens of computers, medical aid and broadcasting equipment to the former Soviet republic.

THE WARDEN and scholars of Merton College, Oxford, are on the warpath with Granada over the demolition of a Little Chef restaurant on one of their properties leased to the leisure and hotels group.

Merton leased a site on the Oxford Service Area at the Peartree Roundabout to the Forte restaurant on 15 December 1964 for a term of 40 years. Granada has since bought Forte, and now owns the lease.

Merton is claiming that Granada has broken the terms of the lease as it has "demolished the Little Chef unit on the premises".

The Dons of Merton are angry that they were not consulted before the restaurant was relocated with the main service block at the roundabout. The College is now demanding possession of the site as well as damages from Granada.

A ROW has broken about between two of the most fashionable nightspot owners in London. Blue Note Enterprises is slugging it out with Mean Fiddler Enterprises, owned by Vince Power, the legendary Irish showman.

Blue Note doesn't want Mr Power to use the name "Blue Note" or "Blue Note Bar" in any of his premises. It also wants an injunction to stop Mr Power "preventing, hindering or otherwise interfering with" Blue Note's promotion of events at the Complex, Islington; the Crossbar, King's Cross; and the Powerhaus in Finsbury Park.