The Real Deal Miami

Russian billionaire who bought property from Trump investigated for corruption

Rybolovlev is selling the Palm Beach property he purchased from Trump and later subdivided
November 12, 2018 02:40PM

Dmitry Rybolovlev

Russian billionaire and Palm Beach property owner Dmitry Rybolovlev has been charged in Monaco for allegedly influencing the country’s law enforcement officials to pursue and arrest a Geneva art dealer.

Rybolovlev, who in 2008 bought one of the most expensive properties in Palm Beach from President Trump, was charged Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. Three others were charged, as well, and the four individuals were released after being detained overnight for questioning.

Herve Temime, a lawyer for Rybolovlev, said in a statement to Bloomberg that “we do insist on the fact that at this stage Mr. Rybolovlev is presumed innocent, and that this presumption and the rights attached to it should be strictly respected.”

The corruption allegations stem from Rybolovlev’s dispute with art dealer Yves Bouvier, who he claims swindled him on up to $1 billion for more than $2 billion in art purchases he made over a decade, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

Rybolovlev’s art purchases include the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, which Bouvier bought for $80 million and sold to Rybolobvev for $127 million, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

In 2008, Trump sold the 6-acre estate at 515 North County Road in Palm Beach to a company controlled by Rybolovlev for $95 million. About two years ago, Rybolovlev razed the 62,000-square-foot mansion on the property and subdivided the land into three lots. Two of the lots have sold for a combined $71.34 million, while the third lot, at 525 North County Road, is up for sale at $42 million, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. [Palm Beach Daily News and Bloomberg] — Keith Larsen