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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 9 months ago

Lawsuit: Man bought homes with $70M he misappropriated from oil companies

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Edward Brinkmann, a German national living in Naples, is accused of stealing funds via markup scheme as head of procurement.

A lawsuit accusing a German man living in Collier County of committing fraud involving 10 Naples houses, foreign oil companies and upward of $70 million is making its way through the 20th Judicial Circuit.

The civil case, filed in Collier County Aug. 22, 2018, claims Edward Brinkmann and his company, Majab Development LLC, developed a scheme of artificially marking up the price of various goods ordered by a network of foreign oil and gas sector companies he worked for as head of procurement.

The lawsuit also alleges Brinkmann and his mother, Anna, routed the purchases and inflated the cost multiple times through several Russian and offshore intermediary companies they created and ultimately sold the items to one of the oil companies “substantially higher” than what they would have paid if they bought them directly from another supplier.

Brinkmann then established and became the sole manager of Majab Development, which he used to buy 10 homes in Collier County, ranging in price from $300,000 to $3.8 million, with what plaintiffs contend were proceeds of the fraudulent scheme, the lawsuit says.

Even though Brinkmann’s mother is mentioned in the lawsuit, she was not named as a defendant. Attorneys on both sides of the case declined to provide an explanation.

The only lawyer to comment is Alex Stolyar, one of a few attorneys with the Los Angeles law firm Loeb & Loeb representing the many plaintiffs, including Austrian-based Petro Welt Trading and Russian-based KAToil LLC.

“Plaintiffs look forward to having their day in court, so they can expose this fraud and recover their stolen funds,” Stolyar tells Coffee Talk.

The latest motions filed in the case from both sides are scheduled to be heard by Judge David Friedman at the Collier County Courthouse on Sept. 25. One day later, the plaintiffs' attorneys are scheduled to take videotaped depositions of a director of Majab Development. The company is located at 3606 Enterprise Ave. in Naples.

Gary Carman, one of the lead attorneys with Miami law firm GrayRobinson representing Brinkmann and Majab, declined a request to be interviewed. Brinkmann could not be reached for comment; a call to his business number wasn't picked up. 

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