Record High: $4.5 Billion Divorce Settlement
A Swiss court awarded a Russian woman a record high divorce settlement after her 24-year marriage to a wealthy Russian businessman.
Thirty years ago, Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva met as students in the Ural Mountains. Following their marriage, Mr. Rybolovlev built a fortune during the privatization of business in Russia. The couple has two children and resides in Switzerland.
At one time, Mr. Rybolovlev was majority owner and chairman of Uralkali, the largest producer of potassium fertilizer in that country. Selling his share of that company in 2010, Mr. Rybolovlev is said to have earned $6.5 billion in the transaction.
Citing numerous infidelities on the part of her husband, Ms. Rybolovleva filed for divorce in 2008. Since that time, the divorce matter went before courts in Geneva. Points of the case include:
- Mr. Rybolovlev was apparently surprised by the divorce filing and subsequently had his wife followed by private detectives.
- Before accounts were frozen, Ms. Rybolovleva asserts Mr. Rybolovlev funneled significant money away from the marital estate through trusts and other legal diversions.
- Assets allegedly purchased with marital funds and without the approval of Ms. Rybolovleva include a former residence of Donald Trump in Florida.
- Mr. Rybolovlev is purported to have moved significant wealth to Cyprus, which has no reciprocal regulatory agreements with the Swiss government.
The settlement represents approximately one-half the current wealth of Mr. Rybolovlev. Ms. Rybolovleva was also awarded custody of their 13-year-old daughter, child support totaling $150,000 a month and $150 million in alimony payments.
Mr. Rybolovlev is expected to appeal.
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