Now Rybolovlev’s soon-to-be ex-wife Elena Rybolovleva is suing him over the property, claiming that the fertiliser billionaire bought it to protect money that she could potentially win in the pair’s ongoing Swiss divorce case, according to The Daily News.
This is not Rybolovleva’s first lawsuit against her husband. She has also sued Rybolovlev over an $US88 million NYC penthouse he bought, purportedly for his daughter, as well as Donald Trump’s $US95 million Palm Beach mansion, also purchased with their daughters’ trust.
The Daily News reports that the trust in question has also bought a $US300 million Monaco penthouse, players for Rybolovlev’s Monaco soccer team, and two Greek islands for $US156 million.
Dmitry Rybolovlev and his lawyers insist the purchases are legal since his children’s trust was set up prior to the 2008 divorce filing. He defends the subsequent purchases, arguing that they were to secure the future of his two daughters, Ekaterina and Anna.
Rybolovleva’s lawyer, David Newman of Day Pitney, told the New York Daily News that Rybolovlev “has been spending money like a drunken sailor.” Newman says the real estate purchases violate the Swiss Supreme Court order that froze Rybolovlev’s assets in an attempt to keep him from spending the billions he made during the marriage.
Currently worth $US9.1 billion and number 119 on Forbes’ list of billionaires, the Russian tycoon is no stranger to controversy. In 1996 he was accused (and later acquitted) of plotting to kill a business partner, and spent 11 months in jail.
He sold his stake Uralkali, a fertiliser company he started in 1990, in 2010 for $US6.5 billion.
Rybolovlev and his wife have been battling in Swiss courts since 2008 — both show no sign of slowing down.
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