Lawyer Martin Russo
Referred to Manhattan DA
for Criminal Investigation
New York. April 2, 2010
Today Manhattan Judge Bernard Fried entered an order referring
New York lawyer Martin Russo to Manhattan District Attorney's
Office for investigation.
On March 31,
2010, Russo accompanied by approximately 20 armed men, invaded
the premises Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar NYC), threatened the
employees and locked out Ajna's officers and management,
according to documents filed in court by Ajna president, Nina
Zajic. Leading the invaders also was Jena-Yves Haouzi, a French
national and former employee of Ajna's parent company.
Ajna Bar is an
internationally acclaimed dining and entertainment
establishment, regularly featured in major international media,
including New York Times, New York Post, USA Today, Bloomberg
News, Newsday; and others.
Russo, in a gangland manner, endeavored an apparently
long-planned raid upon [Ajna's] premises, ransacking the
premises and locking out [its] legitimate management... broke
into the safe and removed over $50,000 in cash" according to the
MT has learned
that numerous employees of Ajna, who witnessed the event, have
provided affidavits describing the raid to be used in support of
the referral to Manhattan DA.
During the April
1, 2010 hearing, Judge Fried depicted the papers submitted to
the Court as some of the most "extraordinary" he has seen in
attempts to justify his actions, Fried on his own motion signed
an order referring him for criminal investigation.
order lawyers in a civil case investigated by criminal
authorities" said one lawyer familiar with the matter.
Team is Taking Over
appointed a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York
in 1980 and designated an Acting Justice of the Criminal Branch
of the Supreme Court in 1984, has presided over both criminal
and civil matters. Last month, Judge Fried handed down a
critical decision in a much featured in the media case of
U.S. Bank NA v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc.,
dismissing complaint of the insurers over the quality of $1.8
billion of home-equity loans, Reuters reported.
Russo, a partner
in Manhattan law firm of Gusrae,
Kaplan, Bruno & Nusbaum PLLC, is a lawyer for
Inna Gudavadze, the widow of
Georgian billionaire and philanthropist Badri Patarkatsishvili.
Gudavadze was recently named defendant in a wrongful death
lawsuit, which alleges that she, in conspiracy with former
Russian "oligarch" Boris Berezovsky, murdered Mr.
Patarkatsishvili in order to seize his fortune. (See:
Gudavadze, Berezovsky, Implicated in Death of Badri
Patarkatsishvili (MT.) Gudavadze claims ownership
Ms. Zajic and Mr.
Haouzi were not immediately available for comment.
► Order referring Martin Russo and
Jena-Yves Haouzi to District Attorney
►Statements of Eyewitnesses