German bank seeks $243 M from Greenwich man
HARTFORD — An international attempt to recover a quarter of a billion dollars in failed investments reached the state Supreme Court on Wednesday when lawyers for Deutsche Bank charged that Alexander Vik of Greenwich has been on a decade-long attempt to dodge his responsibility.
During a nearly two-hour hearing, as Vik sat calmly in the second row of the courtroom, the seven-judge panel reviewed hundreds of documents in connection with the $243-million judgment of a British court in 2013 that ordered Vik’s solely owned company, Sebastian Holdings, Inc., to repay.
Wesley W. Horton, attorney for the Norwegian-born former Ivy League golf champion, claimed that even though Vik was the sole owner of the company, he should not be personally responsible for the trading losses.
“In our view they cannot bring any case at all against (Sebastian Holdings, Inc.) SHI,” Horton said.
But David G. Januszewski, lead counsel for Deutsche Bank, detailed a trail of financial finagling that emptied Sebastian Holdings - registered in the Turks & Caicos of the British West Indies - of its holdings at around the time that the bank was owed from Vik’s massive trading losses.
“He was vested,” Januszewski said, stressing that Vik has attempted to dodge responsibility for years, contesting every issue. “He was there and he was driving the train. He was the only shareholder. He referred to it as his trading company. He was interested in the outcome and the financial situation of the company.”
The hearing was over the issue of piercing the so-called corporate veil, in attempt to link Vik to the responsibilities of his investment company. Judges reviewed British court records in which Vik agreed to be responsible for paying off the losses. Sebastian Holdings has also counter-sued, claiming that the bank was depriving him of the ability to make investments.
“To let Mr Vik off the hook for a $243-million judgment is unjust and unfair,” Januszewski told the high court. If the court rules in the bank’s favor, the case, which has more than 337 separate filings in recent years, would eventually go back to Norwalk Superior Court.
In 2014, Forbes magazine called Vik “The Most Interesting Man In The World (As Long As He Doesn’t Owe You Money).”