Russia’s richest man, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, is trying to get back his $55 million deposit for the magnificent Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera for $750 million, which included furnishings. Apparently, he’s taking this to court after backing out, because he had signed a sales agreement for the Villa, and the French law is strict on the fact that purchasers lose their deposits if they pull out after an agreement like this is signed. However, Prokhorov’s lawyers are arguing that that the agreement was rendered null and void due to two technical “anomalies,” arguing that he should have been given the usual seven-day period to change his mind and that the Villa’s owner, Lily Safra’s notary, had “illicitly lumped the furniture price tag with the house price in a declaration to the French state”, which is grounds to cancel the contract.
Safra’s lawyer Jean-Michel Darrois argues, “We have written proof that Mr Prokhorov, via his lawyers, continued to confirm his intention to buy the property well after the sale agreement.” A verdict is due in March. Safra said she is donating the deposit to charity.