(Bloomberg) — Billionaire hedge fund owner John Paulson is suing his wife for allegedly hid billions of dollars in assets during the divorce, saying he used his family’s loyalty to enrich himself by misappropriating a $10 million luxury apartment in Puerto Rico.
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Jennica Paulson, her husband She said she agreed to buy the apartment at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in 2020 from a family trust in 2009 for an artificial price of $5.6 million. The penthouse is currently worth $15 million, according to an amended complaint filed Wednesday in state court in Manhattan. The transaction effectively removed $10 million from the unprofitable trust, she said.
John Paulson, 67, has a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In the year In her July 2022 lawsuit, Jennica accused Paulson of secretly setting up three irrevocable trusts ostensibly to benefit their two children, but to keep the assets for himself. She is seeking at least $1 billion in damages.
It offers a rare glimpse into a high-profile divorce in New York, where marriage proceedings are generally secret. John Paulson filed for divorce in September 2021. The couple is not premarital. Days later, the New York Post reported that he was dating 35-year-old nutritionist and Instagram influencer Alina de Almeida.
The parties in the suit had been scheduled for Thursday to argue John Paulson’s motion to toss the suit in state court, but agreed to postpone the hearing to address the allegations in the amended complaint.
John Paulson’s attorney, James T. Smith, told the judge that the new complaint is “doubling down” on what the client says are flaws in the lawsuit — namely, the failure to add their children as necessary parties because they are beneficiaries. For believers.
Smith said the new claim and the case may be in another court because Jennica Paulson, who was not a beneficiary of the 2009 trust, may not have standing to pursue the claim, citing misconduct on the part of the trustee.
Robert S. Cohen, Jennica Paulson’s attorney, said the amended complaint “caused us to investigate the matter further” in the lawsuit filed against John Paulson in Puerto Rico earlier this month.
Earlier this month, John Paulson was indicted in Puerto Rico by his longtime business partner, who accused him of defrauding the billionaire to invest $17 million in a luxury car dealership on the island. Paulson called the claims “baseless.”
John Paulson made no payments on his Puerto Rico penthouse and racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid “hospitality charges,” the owner says. In addition to financial assets, the family has an extensive portfolio of real estate investments, including Aspen, Colorado, formerly owned by a Saudi prince, and a property in the Hamptons.
In an emailed statement, John Paulson’s attorney disputed what he called “numerous errors” in the new complaint. “The condo purchase was not a sham purchase – Mr. Paulson signed a contract for full list price in 2020,” Smith said. “As he has not yet closed on the apartment, there are no outstanding hospitality fees. All required payments, including the down payment, were made at signing. Mr. Paulson paid the full $7 million for his stake in Autogrupo.”
The Paulsons married in 2000, after they first met at Bear Stearns cafeteria where she served him and his staff. Most of his wealth was acquired during their marriage. He is best known for betting on the US housing market before the 2008 subprime crisis, making $20 billion for himself and his hedge fund investors. In the year
In the amended complaint, Jennica Paulson also questions why she refused JPMorgan’s request to distribute money from the 2006 trust fund, which she learned was worth more than $1 billion. The bank, as trustee, according to the complaint, needs more information to determine whether the request leaves the children “adequately provided for.”
But she said the bank’s interest represented a small portion of the trust’s value, so that was an excuse. She said there is “no way” the request would leave the children short of funds.
The children They were the primary beneficiaries of the trusts in 2006 and 2009, but received no money from either, the complaint says.
Fahad Ghaffar, a partner in the Puerto Rico lawsuit, is seeking more than $50 million in damages from Paulson. Gafar said Paulson told him he would invest the money in a convertible note in February 2022 and eventually be 50% owned by distributor F40. Gafar said in the lawsuit that the Paulson family trust — one of three in the New York case — bought the dealership for $103 million.
The case is Paulson v. Paulson, 652358/2022, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York (Manhattan.)
–With assistance from Jim Weiss and Felipe Marcus.
(Updates with John Paulson’s legal commentary.)
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