The journalistic investigations platform RISE Project had found that Romanian billionaire and real estate investor Puiu Popoviciu has been investing in real estate in New York while being subject to the law and assets seizure in Romania.
RISE found three luxury apartments in New York, at the 44th floor of the skyscraper Olympic Tower in Manhattan, all registered under Popoviciu family members. The three apartments cost some USD 8 million, and, says RISE Project, are just a small piece of a real estate puzzle including large hotels in Bucharest, KFC, Pizza Hut and Paul franchises in Romania, the Baneasa mall and tens of retail spaces all across Bucharest, which formerly belonged to the state.
Popoviciu, by his real name Gabriel, but nicknamed Puiu, was sent to court by the anti-corruption prosecutors in Romania for having developed the Baneasa real estate project – including the mall – on a 224 – hectare plot owned by the state. Contacted by RISE, Popoviciu denied having properties in New York anymore.