The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 3, 1997 · Page 42
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December 3, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 42

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 3, 1997
Page:
Page 42
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THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1997 7B Millionaire's company being probed in Russia FREE Dental Consult B will provide you with a conprehenshv treatment plan at no charge! Caff Today far Appointment! MSL aTVak.. 1 ' -- JP r f 1 m i n vr-- . 1 A A FREE LIFE BONGO TEMPTATION WEST RELINE of Existing Denture wPurchase oiNew Denture! Crown $ :449 00 Ufliy from UnvEntefoi I 1 " 1 .A .1 I1MHD (mm 1JL lift X i ,. 1 "V i f X".' X CANDIES Life Stride Elegant Reg. s35 $2274 100'S OF PAIRS ON SALE BROKEN STYLES AND COLORS SELECTIONS 1VLVY VARY BY STORE 00 Denture Liner from custom Dnnoo Denture from Upprr tUSllUXtrLturr lOSIM m I Buoav k MINIMUM 1 RENTAL) 1 t oouin rioriaa locations only. AIRPORT OR MONROE COUNTY LOCATIONS We'll pick you up.0 149 llUil U business people in Russia to have other people obtain their visas to avoid standing in long lines at embassies, Lubin said. "He vehemently denies that he has committed a crime," Lubin said. "His intent, once he gets out of custody, is to stay here until the case is over and to do business from here and then go back to Russia." One of the convictions Tarantsev served time for during the Communist regime was for stealing a coat, Lubin said. Tarantsev is the founder and owner of Russkoye Zoloto (Russian Gold), a Moscow-based company with holdings that include a gold-mining concern, re tail space, a travel agency and a fashion firm: Lubin said the company also owns a TV network in Russia. He described Tarantsev as a philanthropist who donates millions of dollars to charities. Russkoye Zoloto has attracted close attention from organized crime investigators in Russia over the past year, and prosecutors have filed court papers charging the company with smuggling, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. U.S. officials had sought to have Taratsev held without bond because of his frequent travels and because he had escaped a construction work site in Russia where he was serving one of his detentions, Fernandez said. The Associated Press contributed to this story. TARANTSEV From IB l i i i J State Department agents arrested Tarantsev on Nov. 24. Two days later, U.S. Magistrate Ann Vrtunac agreed to release him on a $250,000 cash bond on condition that he not travel outside the South Florida area, but Immigration and Naturalization Service officials detained him for being in the United States illegally. Tarantsev, who wears an 11-carat diamond pinky ring, is known as one of Russia's most flamboyant new millionaires. He has been traveling in and out of the United States and the Caribbean since Oct 21, Wilfredo Fernandez, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said. ; His travels have taken him to New York City; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Mexico City; Cancun, Mexico; Miami; Montego Bay, Jamaica; the Bahamas; and finally back to Miami and West Palm Beach. I Tarantsev's attorney, Richard Lubin, said Tarantsev was arrested at The Breakers hotel, where he was staying while enjoying a working vacation. i "Palm Beach is nice place to be when you're from Moscow and it's 5 degrees," he said. f Lubin declined to specify the nature of the business Tarantsev was conducting in the U.S. He did say Tarantsev did not sign the visa paperwork that U.S. officials contend contains the false statements. 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S But Martin Reeder, attorney for The Post, said case law requires decisions to end suits to be made by the government body not the agency's attorney and during public meetings that have been advertised. The Post sued the county in February after discovering commissioners had settled several lawsuits involving more than $2 million in closed-door executive sessions. As part of the settlement agreement, commissioners re-approved each settlement in public. Oldehoff said the agree ment with The Post, approved by Circuit Oldehoff Judge Cynthia Angelos in April, prohibits the county from settling cases without having a public hearing. "We didn't settle this case. We simply dropped it," he said. "We have not violated any Sunshine Law." Reeder said: "It was our intention when the consent agreement was drafted that it would require a public hearing when a lawsuit was terminated whether it was settled or dismissed." Commissioners Gainey and Armstrong said they believe Oldehoff overstepped his authority by settling the suit without their knowledge and plan to ask that a public vote be taken. , ' "Either way you look at it, somebody goofed up somewhere," Armstrong said. ' Gainey, who favored dropping the suit, said she proposed putting the issue on a meeting agenda a couple of weeks ago, but her re quest was denied because the issue was going to be discussed at an executive session. I "I thought (dropping the suit) was something the board would do, but I wasn't part of any vote. I certainly will ask that this be done in a public meeting on the next agenda," she said. Oldehoff said he didn't think a vote was necessary, but "my philosophy is to make sure we are perfect on the Sunshine Law and I'm receptive to comment from The Post's attorneys." I By Donating Your Auto or Property to The Aleph Institute) lj 1-800-546-AUTO (2886) I J & L Maybe now is a good time to move. 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