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Motorola Credit Corp. and Nokia Corp. have accused the family that runs Turkey’s second-biggest wireless company of racketeering by borrowing money to build a next-generation wireless network without paying them back. The suit, filed Monday in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court, claims that members of the Uzan family, which holds a controlling stake in Istanbul-based Telekomunikasyon Hizmetlei AS, or Telsim Mobil, made loan arrangements with Motorola and Nokia with the intent of defrauding them. The lawsuit claims 13 separate counts of wrongdoing, including four counts of criminal activity in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Motorola is seeking more than $2 billion in damages, and Nokia wants more than $700 million in damages. Both companies also want punitive damages, as well as triple damages under the four RICO counts. Last year, the U.S. government tried to help Motorola collect $2 billion from Telsim after it failed to meet a $728 million payment on the $2 billion loan due in April. The suit was filed against Kemal Uzan, Telsim chairman Hakan Uzan and board member Cem Uzan, three Uzan-controlled firms and an individual close to the family. The Associated Press was unable to reach the Uzan family, and a call to Telsim’s Istanbul offices was not returned. “We are taking the unusual step of jointly filing this action because it is clear to both companies that the Uzans had no intention of dealing in good faith with us in an effort to resolve this situation,” said Peter Lawson, Motorola’s general counsel. “This action is in recognition that this is not a normal commercial dispute between private parties — it is, rather, a premeditated and unlawful attempt by the Uzans to rob both Motorola and Nokia of our assets.” According to the lawsuit, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia and Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said that the Uzan family induced them to make more than $3 billion in loans to Telsim to buy equipment for a proposed wireless network in Turkey. They also accused the Uzans of extortion and intimidation, including issuing threats and filing criminal charges against company executives in Turkey, as well as hacking into Motorola’s computer system. Both companies also claimed that the family shifted money and assets from Istanbul-based Telsim to other companies that neither Motorola nor Nokia had any stakes in. Both company’s loans were secured by pledges of Telsim shares, including a 66 percent stake by Motorola and 7.5 percent for Nokia. Because of the Uzan family’s actions, they said the values of their shares fell to 22 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. The complaint also says that the “Uzans’ true intentions were exposed when they stole the collateral for Motorola’s and Nokia’s loans by intentionally and illegally diluting the value of stock pledged as collateral for the loans.” The complaint further states that the company held a shareholders meeting where they “eliminated the control rights of the shares pledged as collateral for the loans and took actions that would permit the transfer of Telsim’s illegally obtained assets to a Turkish foundation, seemingly beyond the reach of Motorola, Nokia and the other creditors of Telsim.” In trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Motorola were up 3 cents to $13.53 while shares of Nokia were up 33 cents to $23.45. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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