This may not help their country's image problem - two relatives of the glorious nation of Kazakhstan's president say they were duped into paying a college consultant $200,000 for nothing.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Myra Nazarbayev and her son, Daniyar, say they paid the Long Island-based IvySuccess the whopping sum based on the company's assurances they would be able to get Daniyar into a "prestigious university."
After the company got its money, however, it told the mother and son, "Daniyar is not Ivy League material," and refused to refund their cash.
Daniyar got into Columbia anyway.
Kazakhstan has become an international punch line thanks to the smash "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." But the pair - relatives of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev - aren't willing to let the joke be on them.
They've filed suit against IvySuccess and principal Robert Shaw to get their money back.
The company "took advantage" of Daniyar and "they may be taking advantage of other prospective college applicants," said the family's lawyer, Sam Israel.
Shaw and IvySuccess did not return a call seeking comment.
The suit says a family contact in the United States named Herman Donnenfeld reached out to Ivy in early 2006 for prospective consulting services.
He was put in touch with Shaw, "a self-professed insider in the world of Ivy League schools who purports to have extensive personal connections throughout higher academia in the United States. Without having met Daniyar, nor reviewing his records, Shaw insisted that he could get Daniyar into a prestigious university."
Shaw had Myra wire "a $200,000 retainer to a Hong Kong bank account maintained" by something called the Meridian Group and said the cash would be enough to get Daniyar into a top-tier school.
The suit says the sum was "far in excess of amounts Ivy charged other clients," and that "Shaw simply demanded the largest amount he believed could be extracted from the Nazarbayevs before they would say 'no.' "
Daniyar, who'd hoped to attend Columbia, bought a $5 million apartment on Wall Street this past fall. He then had a "brief meeting" with Shaw in New York, where he was told he wasn't Ivy League material.
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A Long Island company is being sued because it did not make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan.SEMOGA DAPAT MEMBANTU....
IvySuccess of Garden City allegedly collected $200,000 from a relative of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev for a course aimed at getting him into an Ivy League school - and then dumped him as a client.
Daniyar Nazarbayev, who was educated in Kazakhstan, said in his suit IvySuccess dismissed him after one session because, the firm said, he was not "Ivy League material."
Nazarbayev eventually was accepted into Columbia University, where he will start next fall - no thanks to the "admissions strategists" at IvySuccess, according to the suit, filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
"He's a very smart and likable kid who got into Columbia on his own," said Sam Israel, the student's lawyer.
Neither Israel nor court papers specified Nazarbayev's exact relation to the strongman leader of the country lampooned in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."
After only one meeting, IvySuccess owner Robert Shaw allegedly told an "incredulous" family representative that Nazarbayev had no shot at cracking the Ivies.
Shaw did not respond to phone calls.
With Kerry Burke and Richard Weir
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