A Saudi company that claims it was defrauded of billions of dollars in a scheme by a conniving Saudi citizen and his sons last week filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court to demand it be allowed to seize condos on the 52nd floor of One Dalton Place and at the Mandarin Oriental and Millennium Place that it says were purchased by its alleged money siphoners.
Two of the people being sued, however, moved today to have the case transferred to federal court in Boston, arguing that only federal courts can properly deal with an international case that involves Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his alleged attempts to consolidate power and to subvert the American justice system to carry out his grudges, in a case they say might even reveal embarassing details of cooperation between him and American officials.
In its filing in Suffolk Superior Court, the Sakab Saudi Holding Co. asked a judge to uphold a ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice letting it take over the condos to help it recoup the $3.5 billion it alleges were stolen from its accounts, money that was meant for "performing anti-terrorism activities in the public interest" of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The company alleges that Saad Khalid Aljabri, a one-time Saudi official, his two sons and various companies they set up managed to abscond with the money in a scheme lasting years, and that they used the money in part to invest in luxury real estate in several countries, including Canada and the US.
In moving the case to federal court - where a judge might have to consider both Ontario and Saudi law - the Aljabris argue they did nothing wrong except get on the wrong side of bin Salman in his power strugggle with another crown prince for control of the country and that, much like the "disappearance" of that other crown prince, and the murder and carving up of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, bin Salman is pulling the strings in this case as well.
They allege everything they did with the money was work approved by Sakab and sanctioned by the other crown prince in the furtherance of both Saudi and American national-securint interests, at least before bin Salman consolidated power and the other crown prince was disappeared. They add that everything Sakab did was at the direction of Saudi princes and officials, who set up the company "to conceal the involvement of the Saudi government in covert operations."
This Action is bin Salman's latest attack in a violent campaign to silence Defendant Dr. Saad Aljabri, who poses a threat to bin Salman by virtue of his close relationships with the former Crown Prince bin Nayef and the United States Government. And though framed as a commercial dispute, this Action implicates serious federal interests.
At issue in Boston are ownership of six luxury condos, all currently owned by Al Jabri's New East 804 805 LLC, headquartered in New York.
One Dalton Place
Two units on the 52nd floor, purchased in 2019: A 2,945-sq-foot, 5-room, 2-bedroom unit with two deeded parking spaces assessed at $8.8 million and a 1,403-square-foot 4-room, 2-bedroom unit with one parking space.
One unit on the tenth floor, 2,556 square feet with 5 rooms, 2 of them bedrooms and two parking spaces, assessed at $4.5 million and purchased in 2017.
- 3rd floor unit with 813 square feet, 3 rooms, 1 bedroom and 1 parking space, assessed at $879,800;
- 7th floor unit, 779 square feet, 3 rooms, 1 bedroom, 1 parking space, assessed at $872,600;
- 8th floor unit, 777 square feet, 3 rooms, 1 bedroom, 1 parking space, assessed at $819,600;
- 8th-floor unit, 1,166 square feet, 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 parking space, assessed at $1.2 million;
- 16th floor penthouse, 2,654 square feet, 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 parking spaces, assessed at $4 million.
All the units were purchased in 2013.
Sakab demand to seize the condos (21M PDF).
Aljabri request to have cases transferred to federal court (89k PDF).