The ripple effect from the Trump-Russia investigation led to a problem for the Miami real estate holdings of Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, a friend of President Trump.
Morgan Stanley is suing Agalarov in a $2.8 million foreclosure action tied to a condo on ritzy Fisher Island, the wealthiest ZIP code in the U.S.
Morgan Stanley was one of three banks that froze Agalarov’s U.S. bank accounts last fall due to concerns over millions in transfers to those accounts from Russia, Agalarov’s New York attorney Scott Balber confirmed.
“The mortgage was being paid by automatic debit from one of those accounts, and it wasn’t realized immediately what effect that was having,” Balber said.
He said Agalarov has paid Morgan Stanley in full and is current on the mortgage payments, although that is not reflected in public documents filed with Miami-Dade Circuit Court. The court’s website says the foreclosure case is open and the most recently filing was Jan. 4.
Morgan Stanley’s lawsuit alleges that Agalarov defaulted on the terms of a mortgage for unit 7642 at 7600 Oceanside starting July 1 and hasn’t made a payment since then. The lawsuit says the bank sent a default notice on Aug. 20. As of Nov. 30, Agalarov owed $2,786,000 in outstanding principal on the note and mortgage, plus interest, late fees, escrow advances and title search expenses, according to the lawsuit.
The foreclosure suit also names the building’s association and Fisher Island community association as defendants.
Agalarov has been described as a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as President Trump. He’s a billionaire who founded one of Russia’s leading development firms, the Crocus Group. Forbes has pegged Agalarov’s net worth at $1.6 billion.
In December, Agalarov sold another Fisher Island unit, at Palazzo Del Sol, for $8.5 million.
Agalarov and his famous son, pop star Emin Agalarov, hosted Trump for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. They also played a key role in arranging a Trump Tower meeting that included Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, campaign manager Paul Manafort, a Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and others, according to congressional testimony.