United States District Court, D. New Jersey
V. BROWN MARIA TEMKIN BROWN LEGAL CONSULTING, LLC On behalf
EKATERINA SCHOENEFELD SCHOENEFELD LAW FIRM LLC On behalf of
Defendant Iskander Ibragimov.
DAS DAS LAW LLC On behalf of Defendants TRT International,
LTD and Oleg Mitnik.
KAPUSTINA Pro Se Defendant.
MICHAEL GOLOVERYA Pro Se Defendant.
VLADIMIR SHTEYN Pro Se Defendant.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
case is a companion to Akishev v. Kapustin, Civil
Action No. 13-7152 (NLH/AMD). Both cases concern a
“bait-and-switch” fraudulent scheme masterminded
and operated by defendant, Sergey Kapustin, and allegedly
assisted by other defendants. The Plaintiffs allege that the
scheme used deceptive online advertising aimed at luring
international customers to wire funds for automobile
purchases and then switching to higher prices,
misrepresenting mileage, condition and location and ownership
of these vehicles, extorting more funds, and failing to
deliver the paid-for vehicles. Presently before the Court is
the motion of Defendants Oleg Mitnik and his company TRT
International, LTD to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims against
them. For the reasons expressed below, Defendants' motion
will be denied.
detailed recitation of the fraudulent scheme perpetrated by
Kapustin and other various defendants, see Akishev v.
Kapustin, Civil Action No. 13-7152 (NLH/AMD), Docket No.
272, 358, 395. This case concerns additional Plaintiffs,
Chingiz Matyev, Sergey Smirnov, and Igor Zuev, all citizens
of Eastern Europe who, like the Plaintiffs in Akishev v.
Kapustin, used Kaputin's websites to purchase a car
from the United States to be shipped overseas, wired money to
Kapustin, but never received any vehicle or a refund of their
current motion to dismiss is filed by Defendant Oleg Mitnik
and his company, Defendant TRT International, LTD, which are
not parties to the Akishev action. Plaintiffs claim
in this case that Mitnik and TRT financed, provided services
to, and received profit from the operation of the fraudulent
New Jersey dealerships. More specifically, Plaintiffs claim
that in 2011-2012, Mitnik and TRT invested funds in the
scheme, including financing the bait vehicles and the luring
websites, transported the “switched” vehicles,
and received profit on their investment in the scheme.
Plaintiffs claim that Mitnik and TRT were put on notice of
illegal activities since at least November 2013 when the
victims filed their complaint in Akishev v.
Kapustin, but nonetheless continued to participate in
unlawful activities through November 2014.
argue two bases for why Plaintiffs' complaint should be
dismissed. First, Defendants argue that this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over this action under RJR
Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, 136 S.Ct. 2090,
2111 (2016), which held, “Section 1964(c) requires a
civil RICO plaintiff to allege and prove a domestic injury to
business or property and does not allow recovery for foreign
injuries.” Defendants argue that the foreign Plaintiffs
have not suffered any injuries in the United States, and
Plaintiffs therefore cannot maintain their RICO claims
against them, and no other basis for jurisdiction can be
exercised over their state law claims. The Court rejected
this same argument in Akishev v. Kapustin, and will
do so again here, adopting the reasoning expressed in that
case. See Akishev v. Kapustin, 2016 WL 7165714, at
*5-*8 (D.N.J. 2016) (explaining, in part, “A person
responsible for a United States-based fraudulent scheme to
defraud people overseas should not escape liability under a
federal law that permits private causes of action to redress
that fraud simply because the scheme targets foreign citizens
over the internet”).
second basis for the dismissal of Plaintiffs' complaint
against them is that Plaintiffs' claims are bare-bone
conclusory allegations that fail to meet the ...