‘Grifter Prince’ Accused of Conning His Way into $20m Apartment, Ivy League Education

The stepson of the President of Kazakhstan's brother is hiding after being accused of swindling his stepdad out of millions of dollars worth of Manhattan real estate.

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Evan Agostini/Liaison/Getty Images

New York's Plaza Hotel

Nothing goes better with a $20 million condo you allegedly swindled from your powerful relatives than a degree from Columbia University you allegedly fraudulently obtained. Daniyar Nazarbayev, 24, is being accused by his stepfather, Bolat Nazarbayev, of cheating him out of a 4,000 square-foot apartment at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, and he’s now facing a lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court. Bolat is the brother of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, one of Central Asia’s more autocratic rulers.

In court papers, Daniyar and his mother Maira — Bolat’s former wife — are accused of plotting to pilfer ownership of the sprawling Plaza apartment and two other multimillion-dollar properties on Wall Street.  Bolat gave his stepson power of attorney, since he was the one in New York, to sign papers on the real estate transactions, but Daniyar allegedly signed his own name and his mom’s as owners instead.

The lawsuit also claims that the young man had falsified his application to Columbia University, and that he didn’t graduate from the high school in Kazakhstan he said he had and never actually finished the high school in Switzerland he did actually attend. (At least Daniyar appears to have earned his degree fair and square: he graduated from Columbia in 2010.)

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And just to make things even a bit more murky, Bolat now claims that Maira, whom he says travels under multiple aliases, is wanted by Interpol for kidnapping and extortion. Either way, according to the New York Post, she still reportedly lives in the four-bedroom pad at the Plaza.  Daniyar, meanwhile, has gone into hiding. And while Bolat says his stepson hasn’t surfaced in the five countries he’s  searched so far, Daniyar is reportedly engaged to the daughter of Malaysian prime minister Najib Rezak. How’s the real estate in Kuala Lumpur?

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