Billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov
One of London’s richest oligarchs is being sued by his own Rabbi in a row over central London properties worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Billionaire Gennadiy Bogolyubov, who lives in Belgrave Square, has fallen out with his well-connected Rabbi Yonah Pruss over the deals.
The claim heading for the High Court piles more trouble on the Ukrainian tycoon who is also being sued by fellow billionaire Viktor Pinchuk in a separate London court case.
Rabbi Pruss, high ranking in the ultra-Orthodox Chabad movement in London, claims that in 2008 Mr Bogolyubov asked him to find investment properties to buy in the UK.
Rabbi Pruss claims that with surveyor Colin Gershinson, he and Mr Bogolyubov set up a joint venture called Bbay to buy and run the properties.
Mr Gershinson and Rabbi Pruss would find them and Mr Bogolyubov would provide the money.
Rabbi Pruss and Mr Gershinson say they were offered a cut of the profits. They claim they located and bought 14 properties around the country, including a site in Knightsbridge purchased for £56 million and a large Trafalgar Square office bought for £173 million.
When the rabbi tried to get an update from Mr Bogolyubov on the value of the properties in order to get his share, he allegedly discovered the billionaire had put the two London sites in a trust for him and his family, leaving others in places such as Solihull, Hendon and Southport in the joint venture.
Rabbi Pruss and Mr Gershinson are demanding “in excess of £20 million” for their share of the deals and demand that the two London properties be put into the Bbay joint venture.
Mr Bogolyubov’s solicitor David Kavanagh at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom said Mr Bogolyubov would contest the claim: “We say [the two London properties] fell outside the terms of the agreement. Mr Bogulyubov is confident the claim will be defeated if the claimant proceeds.”