Jo Lunder, the former Telenor executive who ended up getting caught up in the VimpelCom corruption case, was not only jailed and left facing legal problems in Norway. He and other top VimpelCom officials are the targets of a class-action lawsuit in the US filed by disgruntled shareholders.
VimpelCom is stocklisted in the US, where newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that shareholders are suing the company and its executives for allegedly passing on incorrect and misleading information.
The plaintiffs are especially unhappy over reports that VimpelCom paid out tens of millions of dollars to a company controlled by Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbekistan’s dictator. Their law firm Pomerantz, which specializes in class-action lawsuits, claims the payments were bribes to secure VimpelCom access to Uzbekistan’s mobile phone market.
The plaintiffs further claim they have suffered large losses on their investment in VimpelCom shares, while VimpelCom bosses have profited. VimpelCom declined commen on the case, but a spokesman claimed the company would vigourously defend itself against “opportunistic” legal action.