Filed under: Estates
Poor Mikhail Prokhorov. Last month we reported that the metals magnate had been replaced as Russia's richest man by Vladimir Lisin, and now languishes in second place. Now a court in Nice has just ruled that the oligarch must forfeit the $55 million deposit he put down for the magnificent $750 million Villa Leopolda (above) on the French Riviera in 2008 before backing out of the deal, the London Daily Mail reports. Prokhorov signed a sales agreement for the Villa, and French law stipulates that purchasers lose their deposits if they pull out after such an agreement has been executed. The magistrate also ordered Prokhorov to pay the Villa's owner Lily Safra an additional $1.5 million penalty. Safra says she will donate all the money to ten charities, including almost $1.5 million for neuroscience research at King's College London and Imperial College London. "By transforming the deposit into an act of giving I would like to encourage all who can do so to support medical research and other humanitarian causes," she declared. On the plus side for Prokhorov, he's still worth a cool $17.85 billion.