- Business - US seeks Amadea forfeiture

By Conor Feasey

US seeks Amadea forfeiture

US authorities have initiated legal proceedings to claim ownership of Amadea following alleged links with sanctioned Russians and money laundering…

The US is seeking to take ownership of 106m Amadea having filed a complaint against the vessel and its alleged owner in a Manhattan federal court on Monday. The complaint has kickstarted what will likely be a lengthy judicial process in which the US will potentially seek to take possession of the yacht, auction it and use the proceeds from the sale to aid the Ukrainian war effort.

US authorities allege that the now infamous Lürssen is ultimately owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who spent millions of dollars on the yacht through a series of shell companies, despite the sanctions against him. The complaint continues to allege that Amadea is forfeitable based on violations of US law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and money laundering violations.

The case is led by Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Michael Khoo and David Lim, Co-Directors of Task Force KleptoCapture (an OFAC team designed to seize and sell assets belonging to Russian oligarchs).

“The US brings this action today after a careful and painstaking effort to develop the necessary evidence showing Suleiman Kerimov’s clear interest in the Amadea and the repeated misuse of the US financial system to support and maintain the yacht for his benefit,” says Khoo.

According to US officials, Kerimov gained beneficial ownership of the vessel in September 2021 through a series of transfers between shell companies conducted in a manner designed to conceal his ownership of the yacht.

The ownership of Amadea was transferred from the former title holder, Nereo Management to Millemarin Investments, which was created around 30 days before the sale. Ownership was then transferred to Errigal Marine, another newly incorporated company, which was used to further obscure Kerimov’s beneficial ownership of Amadea.

Notably, lawyers for Millemarin Investments told a Fiji court that Amadea was owned by former Rosneft CEO, Eduard Khudainatov, who has not been sanctioned. Khudainatov has also been named as the owner of Scheherazade, which has been heavily linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but was not named in the complaint filed on Monday.

The yacht's owners will have the chance to contest the claim in court. However, given the circumstances and nature of the sanctions, it is unclear whether the owner will be capable of finding representation.

Amadea is currently under the control of US government authorities in San Diego, California, following its seizure by the Republic of Fiji last year following a request from the US.

“The filing of this complaint exemplifies that the US takes sanction evasion seriously and will use all tools at its disposal to ensure that sanctioned individuals are held accountable for their crimes,” says Williams.

“It underscores our resolve to undertake challenging, cross-border investigations and to send a message to Russian oligarchs and their enablers: if you flout the rule of law, you can expect to pay real and meaningful consequences.”

LÜRSSEN 2016 2016 Delivered
106.10m 16.80m 4.10m 4402
Espen Oeino International

Join the discussion

US seeks Amadea forfeiture


To post comments please Sign in or Register

When commenting please follow our house rules

Click here to become part of The Superyacht Group community, and join us in our mission to make this industry accessible to all, and prosperous for the long-term. We are offering access to the superyacht industry’s most comprehensive and longstanding archive of business-critical information, as well as a comprehensive, real-time superyacht fleet database, for just £10 per month, because we are One Industry with One Mission. Sign up here.

Related news

Image for Will Russian yachts be sold for Ukraine?

Will Russian yachts be sold for Ukraine?

We speak to HFW's Daniel Martin to understand the legitimacy, plausibility and ramifications of government plans to tax seized Russian assets


Image for Damen sues Dutch government

Damen sues Dutch government

Damen Shipyards is now pursuing compensation for significant financial setbacks attributed to the Russian sanctions


Image for Eric Schmidt retracts Alfa Nero bid

Eric Schmidt retracts Alfa Nero bid

Amid constant legal battles, the former Google CEO has walked away from purchasing the superyacht, adding to the quagmire


Image for Amadea owner sued for millions

Amadea owner sued for millions

An Isle of Man court has ruled that the owner of the famous superyacht owes £36.8m in tax


Image for Phi owner loses UK court case

Phi owner loses UK court case

The detention of Phi has been deemed lawful by the UK High Court, despite the owner not being sanctioned


Image for Richard Masters avoids extradition

Richard Masters avoids extradition

After a lengthy legal dispute, the high court in Madrid rejected the request from the District of Columbia


Sign up to the SuperyachtNews Bulletin

Receive unrivalled market intelligence, weekly headlines and the most relevant and insightful journalism directly to your inbox.

The SuperyachtNews App

Follow us on