The oligarch brother of the president of Kazakhstan has accused his former wife of wiring $75 million (£48 million) to a celebrity jeweller nicknamed "the king of bling". The assertion, made in court papers filed in New York, is part of a bitter high-dollar split between Bolat Nazarbayev, brother of Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Maira Nazarbayeva, a Kazakh socialite with a penchant for expensive gems.
Mr Nazarbayev has already filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife and her adult son by a previous marriage, claiming that they swindled him out of a 4,000 sq ft apartment worth $20 million at The Plaza, one of New York's most prestigious properties.
He has since discovered that she "purchased a very large quantity of jewellery from Jacob & Co., for a total value of about $75 million, all of which we believe was purchased with Nazarbayev's money", according to papers filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court.
As part of the legal wrangling in the judicial discovery process, his lawyers have asked for her to "confirm or deny that she received said jewellery (or any part of it) and state the disposition of that jewellery".
Jacob & Co is the business of Jacob Arabov, an Uzbek immigrant whose ostentatious gem-encrusted designs have made him the jeweller of choice for hip-hop stars and earned him tributes in songs by rapper Kanye West. Mr Arabov is expected to give a deposition later this year.
In another development, Saule Arykbayeva, a former assistant to Mrs Nazarbayeva, said in a deposition that her ex-boss had ties to organised crime and arranged for rivals to be kidnapped.
Mr Nazarbayev has previously alleged that his former wife was "an international fugitive" wanted for crimes in Kazakhstan.
He originally went to court last year to lodge his claim that she and her son Daniyar cheated him out of the palatial home at The Plaza. He said that she gave them power of attorney to buy a property, but later discovered that she had sold the apartment on to Daniyar.
Mrs Nazarbayeva denies any wrongdoing. Russ Nazrisho, a lawyer for Mrs Nazarbayeva and her son, told The Daily Telegraph: "The allegations of criminal ties are completely false and fabricated.
"The unit at The Plaza was purchased for our clients and they have full right to use the unit as they see fit as they consider themselves the rightful owners.
"We are not clear about what the statements from his lawyer about Jacob & Co are based. We are waiting to hear from Jacob in his deposition."