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Why the U.S. Wants to Seize This 33,600-Square-Foot LA Mega-Mansion

NBC Los Angeles logo NBC Los Angeles 5/6/2022 Jonathan Lloyd
File photo © Provided by NBC Los Angeles

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Federal authorities are seeking the forfeiture of a Los Angeles mega-mansion in the Holmby Hills community.

Investigators say the 33,652-square-foot property near Hugh Hefner's former Playboy Mansion was purchased with millions in bribe money paid to the former finance minister of Armenia and his sons.

In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the home was bought for $14.4 million in 2011 by a trust on behalf of 66-year-old Gagik Khachatryan and his two sons. They are all facing criminal charges in Armenia.

It's not clear whether they have an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Khachatryan chaired the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia from 2008 to 2014 and as minister of finance for the Republic of Armenia from 2014 to 2016, the Justice Department said. In the complaint filed Monday in a Los Angeles court, it is alleged that a businessman, also charged in Armenia, paid him and his family more than $20 million in bribes for favorable business tax treatment.

At least some of those payments were used to buy the Holmby Hills mansion on South Mapleton Drive in this hills above Los Angeles' Westside. The government alleges that the home was bought illegally with proceeds derived from an offense against a foreign nation involving bribery of a public official.

Khachatryan was known as the “Super Minister” because of his many responsibilities.

The French Normandy-style estate has 11 bedrooms and 26 full or partial baths. In also has a pool, wine cellar, home theater and maids' quarters, according to a real estate listing.

The property went on the market last month with an asking price of $63.5 million, the federal complaint states.

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