An inheritance battle after the death of a relative is always a complex legal process.
And if we are talking about the division of the multi-million dollar empire of a resident of the Forbes rating, then the matter becomes much more serious. The heirs of the Russian businessman Oleg Burlakov are still fighting for his capital, and not only among themselves. The descendants of the entrepreneur accuse the composer Igor Krutoy and his wife of embezzling their property and demand $30 million. The daughters of the oligarch filed a lawsuit against the Kruty family and their lawyers in an American court.
Oleg Burlakov. Photo: Forbes
The death of an oligarch, family squabbles and the struggle for an inheritance
Dollar billionaire Oleg Burlakov died in June 2021 from the coronavirus in Monaco. He was included in the Forbes rating of “200 richest businessmen”, was the owner of a unique yacht “Black Pearl” worth $ 250 million. Burlakov invested in the ship the proceeds from the sale of the Novoroscement and Burneftegaz companies. According to Forbes, the entrepreneur’s fortune is estimated at $650 million.
Yacht “Black Pearl”. Photo: Oceanco
The entrepreneur’s family life was far from stable. His wife Lyudmila Burlakova filed for divorce in 2018, but by the time of the billionaire’s death, the divorce proceedings had not been completed. The couple have two daughters, Veronica and Elena, and six grandchildren. In addition to them, the sister of the late Vera Kazakova and son-in-law Nikolai Kazakov (who is also a business partner of Burlakov) claim the inheritance.
The oligarch, being married, also met with MGIMO graduate Sofia Shevtsova, whom he met at the hotel. In the future, the girl worked for a businessman and accompanied him on trips. Six months before his death, Sofia gave birth, but the child was not recognized by Burlakov during his lifetime.
Oleg Burlakov, according to Forbes, constantly feared persecution from his wife and daughters. More than once, GPS trackers were planted on him, and a camera was installed on private property. In 2019, the oligarch sued his wife, accusing her of misappropriating $ 1 billion. A year later, Lyudmila accused the businessman of deliberately underestimating her fortune, as a result of which, in a divorce, she would have gotten less than she was supposed to.
Lyudmila Burlakova with her daughters Veronica and Elena. Photo: Super.ru
Deal with the Cool: trial and allegations of fraud
In 2017, Oleg Burlakov created a trust fund in the United States for his grandchildren. The oligarch acquired a residence in a high-rise building on the famous Fisher Island from the Russian composer Igor Krutoy into the ownership of the trust. According to the agreement, the property must be managed by a trustee – lawyer Steven Landau for 21 years, and then pass to the billionaire’s grandchildren. This was supposed to simplify the inheritance process for Burlakov’s descendants.
The 450-square-foot residence has five bedrooms, a three-car garage, six bathrooms, and stunning views of Miami Beach, Super found out. The Cool family had to transfer the rights to the object for $7.5 million. Burlakov himself did not appear in the deal, it was carried out by Stephen Landau and representatives of the composer.
However, the transfer of property did not take place. According to the court claim of the Burlakov family, in 2017 the Krutye intentionally executed documents with errors, as a result of which the transaction was not completed according to the documents. However, the oligarch has already transferred the money from the sale to the composer. The Burlakovs believe that as a result of these bureaucratic machinations, Igor Krutoy illegally appropriated real estate and took the money.
Three years later, a year before the death of Oleg Burlakov and without the knowledge of his heirs, a new trust was created. It is not known who became its owner (beneficiary), but the manager turned out to be the same – Stephen Landau. The cool ones with Landau again tried to transfer the rights to this residence, but to a new trust-2020, which did not belong to the heirs who considered themselves the owners of the property. The Burlakovs claim that they did not give their consent to the transfer of the object. Now the grandchildren are deprived of a significant share of the inheritance and the opportunity to receive income from the 2017 trust, because the deal has lost its meaning.
What the heirs of the billionaire require from the Cool
Super found out that according to the documents, a certain American firm MLGG is now the owner of the property. Also last year, the residence was put up for sale. However, after a legal claim by the Burlakovs, the ad was withdrawn. By 2022, the value of the property has grown from $7.5 million to $9.75 million.
All this time, the interests of the heirs were supposed to be defended by Stephen Landau. But the Burlakovs accuse him of violating obligations: Landau withheld financial reports and facilitated an illegal deal with the Kruty. He must now account for all trust transactions from 2017 to the present.
Under Florida law, if they win, the plaintiffs will receive a triple damages award of at least $30 million plus attorneys’ fees from the Tough couple and other associates. In addition to monetary compensation, the Burlakovs demand to correct the documents and appoint them as legal owners. A Florida court is awaiting a response to the lawsuit from the Cool couple.
Super contacted the wife of Igor Krutoy. According to Olga, her family has nothing to do with the case.
“We are not judged at all. Our names appear in the file because we were the owners of this apartment. We have nothing to do with this, and I can’t comment on it any more.”
Photo: Miami MLS