Syd Ghermezian hails from a wealthy Canadian business family known for building some of North America’s largest malls, and has worked at Triple Five for 10 years.
The proposed second amended complaint alleges that Ghermezian and CFSB were principally responsible for overseeing wire transactions related to payments associated with counterfeiting schemes and supporting Plaintiffs’ fraud conveyance and veil piercing/alter ego claims.
Early Life and Education
Ghermezian’s family made their fortune through rug importing. Jacob Ghermezian hosted President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at his Tehran apartment during the 1943 Tehran Conference.
Nixon Peabody filed suit against Don, Nader and Syd Ghermezian for failing to adhere to basic corporate formalities when operating Triple Five Worldwide LLC, a “sham vehicle.” According to their complaint, even after having been removed as managers formally by being dismissed off from Triple Five Worldwide LLC’s board, Don, Nader and Syd continue running it using personal email accounts and WhatsApp messaging services for business.
This suit names Syd Ghermezian and his family companies as defendants in addition to Community Federal Savings Bank where Syd is chairman and CEO.
Jacob Ghermezian and his sons Raphael, Eskander, Nader, and Bahman amassed their fortune through the import and sale of Persian rugs before diversifying into real estate development. They purchased land in Edmonton and formed Germez Developments which later evolved into the Triple Five Group.
The West Edmonton Mall earned this family a well-earned reputation as a firm of big dreamers and hard salesmen who relentlessly sought government concessions to bring their projects to fruition.
According to the lawsuit, Syd Ghermezian allegedly oversaw wire transactions related to payments supporting counterfeit products at CFSB through his position there. CFSB is wholly owned and controlled by members of the Ghermezian family; among these being Syd himself. As Chairman and CEO, he had direct access to Triple Five Worldwide’s account at this bank, according to allegations in the suit.
Achievement and Honors
Ghermezian Family Trusts are widely known for owning some of the world’s premier shopping complexes, including New Jersey’s American Dream and Minnesota’s Mall of America. Additionally, this family oversees numerous philanthropic organisations globally.
Early this year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented the family with the Great Canadian Award in recognition of their many philanthropic efforts – which include fully funding educational centers across Canada and internationally.
Ghermezians were charged in a civil racketeering lawsuit with participating in an alleged scheme to import and sell counterfeit hand sanitizer manufactured in Mexico by Triple Five Worldwide that contained harmful amounts of methanol that was harmful to consumers’ health.
The Ghermezian family is widely recognized for its ownership of some of the world’s biggest malls, including New Jersey’s American Dream and Minnesota’s Mall of America. Furthermore, this family is well known for their generosity toward charity and community causes.
Don and Syd Ghermezian believed they could make significant amounts of money during the COVID-19 pandemic by operating a pop-up hand sanitizer business, using their control of New York-based CFSB to facilitate wire transactions for payments supporting counterfeiting schemes.
The Proposed Second Amended Complaint alleges that CFSB and the Ghermezians engaged in a conspiracy to support counterfeiting schemes through fraudulent conveyance and veil piercing claims, using KD Resources as a shield to conceal their involvement in sanitizer business operations.
The Ghermezian family is estimated to be worth an estimated $5 billion and they own some of North America’s most prominent shopping malls, starting with West Edmonton Mall in Canada and expanding through Triple Five Group to also own American Dream in New Jersey and a stake in Minnesota’s Mall of America.
Family members remain relatively private while remaining heavily involved in business affairs; yet, they still manage to have a major presence within that field and even contribute financially to political campaigns.
Syd and Aviva Ghermezian each donated $20,000 to the New Jersey State Republican Committee on May 28, according to campaign-finance records. Both contributions came from an account at Community Federal Savings Bank located in New York City.