A wealthy London woman is suing the Bank of Jackson Hole, claiming the bank allowed her soon-to-be ex-husband to move money around without her consent.
Nadia Zahmoul, wife of London financier Karim Zahmoul, filed a lawsuit Friday asking the U.S. District Court for Wyoming to stop the bank from allowing any changes or transfers in the couple’s accounts. She also asked the court to enforce a United Kingdom court order disabling the spouses from transferring money without each other’s consent – and for the bank to pay her back $700,000 her husband allegedly transferred, plus other damages, interest and legal fees.
Nadia Zahmoul and her husband together own three limited liability companies in Jackson, which in turn hold the real estate of two condominiums in Teton Village worth at least $12 million plus rental income, according to the filing.
The three businesses are registered in Wyoming to a Jackson-based registered agent.
According to the lawsuit, Nadia Zahmoul told the bank that she is divorcing her husband and provided the bank with a copy of the United Kingdom court order forbidding the spouses from moving money without the other’s consent.
Nadia’s lawsuit says she met with bank representatives in August to let them know the couple was going to approve a $700,000 withdrawal to cover their divorce legal fees.
The divorce court is due to settle most of the couple’s money disputes by Nov. 17. Some of the disputed funds include “hundreds of cryptocurrency transactions” in the Cayman Islands, St. Vincent, Grenadines, “and jurisdictions of similar ilk,” the suit says.
Transparency.org calls those jurisdictions “tax havens.”
Bank Knew Of Order
Karim stopped by the bank Sept, 15, the suit alleges, to discuss paying down mortgages on the properties.
“Of course, the value of real estate in Jackson has not declined in such matter over the past 90 days to warrant a pay-down of the mortgages,” the suit says.
The lawsuit alleges the bank asked Karim to move $675,000 from two checking accounts to pay down the mortgages.
Nadia’s suit claims that the bank knew the foreign divorce order prohibited the transfer without her consent.
The bank then opened a new account for Karim Zahmoul, the suit continues, through which the man funneled the $675,000 before paying it to the bank.
“(The bank knew) it had virtually no exposure on the mortgages since the properties were worth over $14 million and … the transferred funds were earmarked” for divorce costs, according to the lawsuit.
Nadia asked the bank to close the new account, and it did, but not until after transferring the money out of it, the suit claims.
The wife also says she asked the bank to reverse the transaction, but it “has not meaningfully responded.”
Effort To Move Money Beyond Wife’s Reach
The bank reportedly received more than $3.8 million from Karim, the suit claims, “derived from the unlawful liquidations of his securities holdings in the United States,” plus helped him pay $17,000 in premiums on personal insurance policies.
Karim has reportedly told his wife he’s hoping to transfer some or all of his assets to Malta, beyond her reach and the divorce court’s reach, the suit alleges.
Nadia Zahmoul told the court in her filing that, as a result of these incidents, she no longer has enough money to pay legal fees in the divorce.
“The safe haven that (the bank) has provided to Karim to engage in financial shenanigans to (Nadia’s) detriment must be shuttered by this court immediately,” the suit reads.
The bank faces five allegations of misconduct, one of which is a request for the bank to pause its dealings with Karim and another is a request for the court to enforce the foreign divorce court’s order.
The other three include breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and negligence.
Karim Zahmoul did not respond to an email to his business Monday morning. The Bank of Jackson Hole did not immediately respond to a voicemail requesting comment.
The case is ongoing.