NPR logo Russian Billionaire Loses $53 Million Real Estate Deposit


Russian Billionaire Loses $53 Million Real Estate Deposit

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. AP Photo hide caption

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AP Photo

This may be one for Guiness' World Records if they have a category for lost real estate deposits.

A Russian billionaire thought to be Russia's richest man has lost his $53 million deposit on a French villa once owned by Edmond Safra. Safra was the financier killed in 1999 by an arson fire at his Monaco penthouse. Safra's nurse was convicted of setting the deadly fire.

According to Reuters:

Mikhail Prokhorov had made several bids to buy the sprawling villa Leopolda de Villefranche-sur-Mer before owner Lily Safra accepted a price of 390 million euros in 2008.

But Prokhorov, a nickel magnate estimated to be the richest man in Russia according to business magazine Finans, pulled out of the sale as the financial crisis broke in late 2008.

Some readers will recognize Prokhorov as the new owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Prokhorov's loss will be medical science's gain, however. Reuters adds that Safra's widow said she will donate the money to medical research.

Maybe it could lead to a new drug that induces selective amnesia that would help Prokhorov forget he lost $53 million on the deal.