MOSCOW, February 4 (RAPSI) – Russian tycoon Shalva Chigirinsky who has brought a legal action against his ex-wife Tatiana Panchenkova claims that her long-standing business partner Aleksander Smukler abetted and aided an alleged fraud. 

Chigirinsky filed a lawsuit against Panchenkova with the New York Supreme Court in June 2014 seeking to recover tens of millions of dollars of property that allegedly belonged to him or in which he had a beneficial interest and which was in his ex-wife’s possession.

This property includes prime New York real estate, fine art, religious icons, antiques, jewelry, and a historic library of Russian literature collected by Chigirinskiy both before and during his marriage.

Panchenkova took possession of the property pursuant to an agreement with Chigirinsky that, following their divorce, the library would be preserved intact and maintained for the ultimate benefit of their children, according to court records. 

According to Chigirinsky, estimated value of this library was around $120 million. 

He claims that his ex-wife failed to return property to him as well as preserve and maintain the library as it had been agreed upon.

“Ms. Panchenkova has embarked on a systematic dissipation of the Collection, selling numerous items, many, on information and belief, at below market value, and unjustly enriching herself with the roceeds,” according to court records. 

On February 1, Chigirinsky filed a second amended complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York where the case had been moved listing Smukler as a co-defendant.  

“Mr. Smukler knew about the fraud and fraudulent concealment perpetrated by Ms. Panchenkova, aided and abetted her and provided substantial assistance to her in achieving this fraud and concealment,” reads the complaint.