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Dmitri Rybolovlev

Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev is hard to find -- but determined process server surprises him on Hawaii tarmac between flights

A Russian billionaire was slapped with a Manhattan lawsuit this week — and serving the papers required the kind of cunning and derring-do reserved for a Hollywood screenplay and CIA black ops.

Process server Chris Williams has been called on three times to track down fertilizer king Dmitri Rybolovlev in Hawaii and hand him documents. To say it hasn’t been easy is like saying the U.S. had a little trouble locating Osama Bin Laden. Rybolovlev — who’s being sued by his estranged wife over a $95 million Florida mansion and an $88 million New York condo — travels in caravans, beds down in gated communities and is shadowed by hulking German guards.

When Williams served him in 2010, he had to jump onto the hood of the oligarch’s speeding black Cadillac Escalade in Maui and slap the envelope on the windshield, court papers say.

Another time, Rybolovlev’s white Escalade “swerved into the oncoming lane” to avoid Williams and almost drove into a curb in Maui. Williams leaped to the windshield and left the documents there. The latest encounter, at Lihue Airport on Kauai on Wednesday, was tamer but trickier.

David Newman, who represents the Russian’s wife, wanted to serve the $6 billion man an amended lawsuit over a Central Park West pad he supposedly bought for his daughter, Ekaterina. Newman learned Rybolovlev’s personal 737 Airbus was at the airport, where he was expected to arrive by helicopter.

Chris Williams

“We were lucky to get on the tarmac, which is not easy to do, and when the helicopter landed 100 yards from the plane, as Mr. Rybolovlev was going up the steps, our person pounced and put the papers into his hands,” Newman said.

“He was surprised. He had an extremely unhappy look on his face. I would not like to be the security team that took a long ride with him after that .”

Williams said he made six sets of papers — each 234 pages — for members of his team posted around the airport in case the target drove in.

“This was an extremely detailed, hand-tohand, eye-to-eye service,” Williams said. “He's difficult to serve because of all the security around him. He’s got at least two German guards who are over six feet tall.”

Newman said he needed to serve Rybolovlev, who lives in Monaco, in the U.S. or face a drawn-out, expensive battle in international courts. Rybolovlev, 45, bought the four-bedroom Central Park West penthouse from Citigroup chief Sandy Weill in January, and says it was put into trust for Ekaterina.

His wife, Elena Rybolovelva, who lives in Switzerland, contends the purchase violates a court order to not spend assets of their marital estate. The papers served this week add Ekaterina to the lawsuit and allege she is being used as a foil by her father to hide assets.

 

Source:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/russian-billionaire-dmitri-rybolovlev-hard-find-determined-process-server-surprises-hawaii-tarmac-flights-article-1.1080273