Will Dispute Lead to Potential Prison Time for Multimillionaire’s Widower?
By Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. July 25, 2016
by Celia Ampel
A South Florida multimillionaire’s widower could face prison time after taking control of assets left to his stepsons and then leaving the country in defiance of court orders.
Victor Moskalenko’s actions were the most “disturbing and troubling” behavior Broward Circuit Judge Mark Speiser had seen in his 33 years on the bench, the probate judge wrote earlier this year before Moskalenko apparently fled to Israel using a passport he’d been ordered to turn over to the court.
Speiser said he will find Moskalenko in criminal contempt of court if he does not appear at a September hearing in Fort Lauderdale, which could result in a fine, incarceration or probation.
“As civil lawyers, we don’t usually run into parties being imprisoned for contempt,” said Bruce Katzen of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine in Miami, who is representing Moskalenko’s stepsons. “It’s rare. I’ve been practicing over 30 years. I’ve never seen anything like it.'”
Katzen and his colleague Jamie Zuckerman have been battling Moskalenko in court for six years, after the 2010 death of oil heiress and businesswoman Sofi Moskalenko-Kemelman led to a will contest.
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