NEW: Lawyers for Gardens man say federal racketeering suit ‘baseless’


Lawyers for Palm Beach Gardens real estate entrepreneur Ilia Mogilevsky have asked a judge to throw out the 21-count federal suit against him, calling it “baseless” and “an attempt to leverage” his pending divorce.

On Jan. 16, Mogilevsky’s mother-in-law, Tamara Filippova, filed the 158-page suit, which cites the federal Civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

It claims Mogilevsky — in collusion with local business partners, lawyers, notaries public and others also named as defendants — defrauded Filippova, who lives in eastern Siberia, out of more than $8 million by forging documents to move dozens of Florida properties to his name from hers.

Mogilevsky, 40, and his wife Natalia, 39, who are immigrants from Russia, filed for divorce Nov. 2. On Nov. 11, she was arrested, charged with biting her husband’s wrist in front of the couple’s children, ages 12 and 3, at their BallenIsles Country Club home. The domestic-battery charges are pending, as is the divorce.

The lawyers for Ilia Mogilevsky, in a “motion to dismiss” filed Feb. 6 in U.S. District Court, said that of the more than 400 allegations made by Filippova, most used the term “upon information and belief.’”

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, that’s a legal phrase used when a person believes what he has said is true, even though some facts may be missing.

Mogilevsky’s lawyers said the suit against him boils down to his mother-in-law having provided him money she now wants back but that the lawsuit, while voluminous, is short on specifics.

And the lawyers said Filippova can’t cite RICO because it covers only alleged crimes against U.S. citizens.

They said any part of the lawsuit that would survive a direct dismissal are nothing more than “immaterial, impertinent and scandalous allegations” about previous lawsuits involving the couple and “must be stricken” as unrelated to the new suit, and that they’re included only for “harassing and embarrassing Mr. Mogilevsky.”

The lawsuit by Filippova “was outrageous in and of itself,” Gregory Coleman, Ilia Mogilevsky’s lawyer, said Friday. “It is nothing but a series of lies and misrepresentations.”

Gary Rosen, the lawyer for Filippova, said Friday he’s assembling an amended complaint that will “clear up all the items that Mr. Mogilevsky’s attorney claims is not clear or specific, and eliminates the ‘upon and information and belief’ phrasing.”

On Feb. 5, Rosen’s firm filed a separate lawsuit against Ilia Mogilevsky’s lawyers themselves. It says those lawyers took action to block Filippova from selling her interest in the the BallenIsles home in which Ilia and Natalia Mogilevsky have lived. The new suit says the son and daughter-in-law own only 1 percent of it. Palm Beach County property records show the mother-in-law as the buyer of the home in December 2013, at $2.05 million.

Rosen has said he intends to forward all his findings about alleged misdoings by Ilia Mogilevsky to the U.S. Attorney for possible criminal investigations.

And while Filippova’s suit lists Natalia as a defendant, and alleges she helped her husband mislead her mother, Rosen has said Natalia “was duped by Ilia.”

Stuart Kaplan, who represents Natalia in her domestic-battery case, has said she plans to countersue him in federal court.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Original 'Kiss Me, Kate' star Patricia Morison dead at 103
Original 'Kiss Me, Kate' star Patricia Morison dead at 103

Patricia Morison, who played the shrewish lead role in the 1948 Cole Porter Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” died Sunday, Variety reported. She was 103.  Morison also appeared on stage with Yul Brynner in “The King and I” and starred in films such as “The Song of Bernadette.” She also appeared as Basil...
Wellington deals with ‘exceptional’ rainfall, water levels expected to rise
Wellington deals with ‘exceptional’ rainfall, water levels expected to rise

As rain continues to pound Palm Beach County, Wellington is working to mitigate the effects as days of storms add up.  The village received more than 4 inches of rain from Saturday afternoon through Sunday, Wellington said in a news release. “The village has received an exceptional amount of rainfall over the last four weeks,&rdquo...
LATEST: Man charged in Boynton drive-by that injures teen gets $20,000 bond
LATEST: Man charged in Boynton drive-by that injures teen gets $20,000 bond

An 18-year-old boy who allegedly shot and injured a teen in Boynton Beach Wednesday night was given a $20,000 bond by a Palm Beach County Court judge Saturday morning. Cleevens Altiner was arrested Friday and faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and aggravated battery with a firearm. The judge ordered a $10...
Accused Santa Fe shooter won't get death penalty -- and could get paroled someday 
Accused Santa Fe shooter won't get death penalty -- and could get paroled someday 

Even though Dimitrios Pagourtzis was charged as an adult in the mass shooting at a southeastern Texas high school Friday, he will not face the death penalty and could even be eligible for parole someday, the Houston Chronicle reported. Pagourtzis, 17, a high school junior, admitted to the shootings that killed 10 and wounded 13, according to court...
Trump demands Justice Department probe claims of spying on his 2016 campaign
Trump demands Justice Department probe claims of spying on his 2016 campaign

In a tweet Sunday afternoon, President Donald Trump said he will demand that the Justice Department investigate whether it or the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign for political reasons, CNN reported. "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated...
More Stories