Romania’s Supreme Court has handed down a five-year sentence to billionaire Beny Steinmetz, a reported silent backer of New York real estate.
The decision overturns a lower court’s June 2019 decision to acquit Steinmetz and partner Tal Silberstein, a media consultant.
The higher court ruled that the pair collaborated with a Romanian businessman and the grandson of the country’s former king in an attempt to defraud the state, Haaretz first reported.
Steinmetz, who has an estimated net worth of $1.28 billion and made his fortune in the family diamond business, is also a real estate investor, albeit a quiet one. He’s a known backer of HFZ Capital Group, sources previously told The Real Deal, and was also behind a Chrysler Building deal.
Attorney Yuval Sasson, who represented both Silberstein and Steinmetz, said that “the appeal process violated the law and the rules of justice. We intend to appeal to the European court to annul the process, which has happened more than once with regard to decisions by Romanian courts.”
Early this year a mining company asked the courts to unearth $500 million in New York City real estate investments by Steinmetz.
[Haaretz] — Sasha Jones