MOSCOW, February 1 - RAPSI. Vitaly Malkin, a billionaire and member of the Russian parliament's upper house, has filed a $600,000 suit against the company Katselnik & Katselnik which renovated his flat in the Time Warner Center, writes the Izvestia newspaper.
According to the online New York real estate news resource, The Real Deal, Malkin bought the flat in the Time Warner Center, located in one of New York's most prestigious and expensive districts, in August 2010 for almost $16 million.
The $600,000 suit, filed on January 25 in New York State Supreme Court, states that Malkin hired the contractor to serve as his pre-construction manager, overseeing the initial demolition at the 3,200-square-foot duplex on the building's 74th and 75th floors.
The complaint alleges that the firm, seeking an opportunity to make money off a wealthy foreign investor who was unable to monitor the project, offered to become the general contractor on the renovation.
The conflict flared up in the summer of 2011, when K&K charged Malkin $170,000 for services which the complaint says were never authorized.
Malkin refused to pay, saying that K&K performed unauthorized work and overcharged him twice. The firm then put a $170,000 lien on Malkin's apartment, but offered a deal to make the lien 'go away' if Malkin granted K&K the lucrative renovation contract.
The Russian billionaire refused to give Izvestia further details on the nature of his complaint.
Last year Forbes assessed Malkin's private wealth at $600 million. According to his income declaration for 2011, he earned 1.01 billion rubles ($33.6 million). In 2012, Malkin was part of the delegation of the Russian parliament's Federation Council who went to the US to convince US Congressmen not to adopt the Magnitsky Act.