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  1. Wealth
March 3, 2010

Times: Prokhorov loses £36m deposit

By Spear's

A lump sum of -40 million (£36 million) will buy a sumptuous mansion on the French Riviera. Russia’s richest man lost that amount and a lot of face yesterday when a court refused to return his deposit on the grandest villa of them all.

A lump sum of €40 million (£36 million) will buy a sumptuous mansion on the French Riviera. Russia’s richest man lost that amount — and a lot of face — yesterday when a court refused to return his deposit on the grandest villa of them all.

Mikhail Prokhorov, 44, a playboy-magnate worth nearly £6 billion, was told that he could not reclaim the funds that he put down on the Villa Leopolda, a clifftop property that he promised to buy in 2008. He backed out of the record sale, for €390 million, early last year after the recession struck the minerals and metals business on which his fortune is based.

The court in Nice delivered its ruling on the day that President Medvedev arrived for a state visit in Paris to celebrate a new era of Franco-Russian friendship.

The decision was the second blow by French justice against Mr Prokhorov, who also owns two chalets in the Alpine resort of Courchevel. In January 2007 he was arrested and detained for four days on suspicion of flying in prostitutes for a party in the properties. He was released without charge but Moscow media depicted the incident as a deliberate insult against Russia.

To read the full story, visit timesonline.co.uk

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