Joseph Zada Reportedly Sued for Fraud by Russian Hockey Star Fedorov
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DETROIT, July 23–Joseph Zada, a onetime show horse owner and dressage sponsor, is reported to have swindled Russian hockey star Sergei Fedorov out of $43 million, the latest in a string of similar allegations.
The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that Fedorov makes the claim in a lawsuit expected to be filed in Wayne County Circuit Court on Thursday. Among others who invested with Zada and are seeking return of their money is Robert Dover, a six-time Olympic dressage rider for the U.S.
The Free Press reported that Fedorov accuses Zada of embezzling the money during the past 11 years. Describing Fedorov as “a Russian-born individual who has limited knowledge of and experience in investment, legal and financial matters,” the lawsuit says Zada “by deceit and fraud worked his way into the confidence of Fedorov.”
Zada challenged the amount Fedorov says he gave him, and denied trying to scam him. And he said it was a loan, not an investment.
Zada acknowledged agreeing to pay Fedorov $60 million earlier this year to resolve the matter. Fedorov’s suit says the money was never paid.
“It is my intent to make whole and hopefully we can resolve this,” Zada said. “I still believe we can still be friends.”
The Free Press said Fedorov is not Zada’s only problem. Former friends and business associates in Michigan and Florida, where Zada is active in equestrian pursuits, have filed lawsuits claiming Zada cheated them out of millions.
The year 1998 was a big one for Fedorov.
He signed one of the most lucrative contracts in hockey history—a $38-million, six-year deal.
He and the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.
He was often spotted with Russian teenage tennis sensation Anna Kournikova.
“And he met Zada,” the newspaper said.
“Things started out well enough. A mutual friend who worked at a metro Detroit Porsche dealership, where Fedorov and Zada were customers, introduced them, said Marc Beginin, Fedorov’s attorney.
“Fedorov invested some money with Zada. Before long, he received “a substantial return,” Beginin said.