When Vladimir Kokorev notified Panama City attorney Ismael Gerli that he no longer required his services, Gerli demanded $300,000, claiming that it was some sort of termination fee. When Kokorev refused to comply, Gerli flew to Spain, and gave perjured testimony to a Spanish prosecutor, alleging that Kokorev had been a money launderer from the family of the President of Equatorial Guinea.
Gerli then told the Kokorev family that, unless they paid the $300,000, he would not recant his perjured testimony. That constitutes extortion, by any definition of the term. The law also threatened Kokorev's life, and made anti-Semitic remarks, both violations of the laws of the Republic of Panama.
Attorney Gerli, who reliable Panamanian sources say literally bought his law degree from a corrupt school administrator, and never attended law school, nor took any bar exam, belongs is prison, not in a law office. Unfortunately, Panama does not discipline its attorneys, leaving them free to steal client assets, and to bribe their way out of any civil or criminal case filed against them as a result. Investors should take this into account when considering to undergo any financial exposure in Panama, where aggrieved foreign parties rarely, if ever, obtain justice through the country's court system.
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