Saturday, September 23, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Dream Marriage|Becomes a Nightmare

LAS VEGAS (CN) - A wife who co-founded and helped run Dream Marriage Group, an online dating service, drained more than $1 million from the company when her own marriage went sour, her estranged husband claims in court.

Ilia N. Zavialov sued Anastasia Popova and their company Dream Marriage Inc., in Clark County Court.

Zavialov and Popova were married in May 2003, according to the lawsuit. That year they also started Dream Marriage, to match and introduce Russian and Ukrainian women to potential mates.

Soon, he says, they had "over 500 other cooperating offices," mostly in Russia and the Ukraine, dozens of employees, and a profitable business he calls "one of the world's leading online international dating services."

When their own marriage went south in 2009, Zavialov says, it was nonetheless "plaintiff's intention to continue the joint operation of their successful business venture."

This year, he says, Popova "decided she wished to end the marriage," but "never fully and timely communicated" it to him.

"Defendant thereupon embarked on a scheme that would allow her to file a petition of dissolution of marriage and immediately prior thereto to take steps to seize control of the corporation and its finances, to the exclusion of plaintiff," according to the lawsuit.

Zavialov describes what happened next in a section called "The Take-Over":

"As the co-owner of Dream Marriage, defendant had access to private and confidential information about the business. This included, that was not limited to the user names, passwords, account numbers, and codes used to receive and process third-party merchant processing including accounts with PayPal.

"Commencing approximately late August of 2013, defendant went online with the business PayPal account and using the secret coding information, changed the login credentials and access to the account into her sole name and stopped and/or diverted all accounts receivable from the jointly accessible business accounts to either a non-distributing status (meaning the funds were held in such account not used by the business and not accessible by Ilia N. Zavialov) and/or transferable to only accounts designated by the defendant, including an account maintained by the corporate in-house accountant of which plaintiff did not have access. Defendant thereupon took complete control and management of that account to the exclusion of all other persons. This enabled defendant complete control to direct payments and disbursements of the corporation."

Zavialov claims his wife has diverted about $1.2 million from the business, $740,000 of it in cash. He estimates that the diversions will continue at about $12,000 per day.

Popova filed for divorce in California on Sept. 6, according to the complaint.

Zavialov seeks an injunction, appointment of a receiver, and punitive damages for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, gross negligence and mismanagement.

He is represented by G. Mark Albright with Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright.

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.