The estranged wife of a Russian billionaire has said nyet! to her hubby spending a record $88 million for a Central Park West apartment.
Dmitri Rybolovlev, 45, the 100th richest man in the world, bought the four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath penthouse last month as a crash pad for his daughter, he says.
But his wife, Elena Rybolovleva
Rybolovleva, 45, who lives in Switzerland, wants the court to put the 6,744-square-foot co-op into a trust that can be used to pay into whatever monetary judgment she ultimately wins.
The wife already has Rybolovlev shedding tears after she succeeded in putting his $95 million Palm Beach mansion into the trust.
And she persuaded a Swiss court to freeze his yacht, "My Anna," and his pricey art collection of Picassos, Rothkos, Monets and Mondiglianis.
The filing accuses her husband of using a sham corporation to buy the palatial pad between W. 62nd and W. 63rd Sts. last month from former Citigroup chief Sandy Weill and his wife in a sale that set a new high for residential real estate in Manhattan: $13,000 a square foot.
Rybolovleva's lawyer, David Newman of Day Pitney, said Rybolovlev had to hide behind a corporate shell because the purchase violates a 2010 court order that forbids him from moving assets acquired during the 25-year marriage.
Their eldest daughter, Ekaterina, for whom the apartment was bought, is not using it and isn’t attending school in New York. Rybolovleva says in court papers.
Newman said Rybolovlev, who is estimated to be worth more than $9 billion, has bought property all over the world and invested hundreds of millions in other ventures since the decree.
He said this includes a $295 million stake in the Bank of Cyprus and a majority interest in a soccer club favored by Prince Albert of Monaco.
"Mr. R doesn't believe he's bound by court orders to stop. I guess Mr. R is not even taking a court order as a suggestion to stop," Newman said.
There was no immediate response from Rybolovlev aides in New York.