The property magnate said to be worth more than £200 million is pleading poverty his wife’s divorce lawyers claim. Dubbed “the most successful tycoon you’ve never heard of, Andy Ruhan’s fortune was so large “it’s impossible to quantify”, the High Court heard on 11 October 2017. But the 55-year old – who once owned a portfolio of 37 Thistle Hotels and sat on the board of the Lotus Formula One team – now claims to be penniless and millions in debt.
Mr Ruhan’s divorce lawyer bills are said to be among the largest ever run up, raising questions over his claims of penury. Opening the trial, his ex-wife’s lawyer, Sally Harrison QC, said the court would have ‘to decide whether the husband, who on anybody’s account is a phenomenally successful entrepreneur, has fallen so spectacularly from grace that now he has nothing. Miss Harrison said that Mr Ruhan claimed to be £4.2 million in debt, adding: ‘There are in this case, very clear and obvious themes that emerge.
‘That is particularly the husband’s dishonesty, the way in which he partially discloses matters and often gives an incomplete history of his financial dealings’. She said Mrs Ruhan’s attempts to find out where he ex’s alleged fortune was had been ‘tortuous and difficult’.
Our top 14 favourite facts about Andrew Ruhan:
1) Ruhan has recently been travelling the Middle East with Mike Tindall touting for business (attached is photo of Ruhan, Tindall and Neil Grinnall)
(2) Ruhan told the High Court that he was bankrupt with debts of £4.2 million but continues to live on his super-yacht “Babylon”, owns the vintage Lady K II (which Superyacht magazine described as “the most elegant, sophisticated and well-equipped yacht to ever grace the oceans”) and a ski chalet in Chamonix, France
(3) Ruhan appeared in the Irish Rich List in 2017 with a fortune of €200 million – then did not appear in 2018. However, his brother Gabriel made a first appearance in the List in 2018 with a €214 million fortune
(4) Ruhan warehouses his assets with nominees (primarily Simon McNally, Simon Cooper & Anthony Stevens). The last wills of Cooper (27 May 2008) and McNally July 2008) showed that upon their deaths they bequeathed the majority of their assets to Ruhan
(5) Mr Justice Mostyn was satisfied that Anthony Stevens was/is Ruhan’s nominee and stated that “this is not a case where the husband’s (Ruhan) lies can be explained as being an example of false bolstering of an otherwise truthful case. The lies were told in order to conceal the truth”
(6) Arranged for a secret “half secret trust” that stated that if Simon Cooper & Simon McNally (Nominees) did not hand over the Arena Settlement in which Ruhan had an interest, then the certain documents would be used to prove that McNally, Cooper and Ruhan had participated in massive tax evasion and fraud amounting to over £100 million and would lead to them going to prison
(7) Ruhan is the UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) of numerous companies that were set up by McNally and Cooper in the Isle of Man solely for the purpose of shielding his assets from attack from his creditors and HMRC. Mr Justice Cooke said in his judgment of 15.02.15 said that there was a very strong case that Copper and McNally had acted in a very seriously dishonest way in relation to the IOM Settlement
(8) Ruhan secretly bankrolled a New York development (111 West 57th Street) with more than $20 million via his nominee Arthur Becker (ex-husband of fashion designer Vera Wang)
(9) Mr Justice Popplewell said that the conduct of Ruhan which is said to give him “unclean hands” can be summarised as falling into the following categories: (i) concealment of his assets (ii) misleading the Court (iii)Attempting to suborn certain parties (iv) harassment involving intrusive stalking and surveillance (v) blackmail (vi) illegal acquisition of privileged information including computer hacking
(10) He misled the Court by denying that he had a beneficial interest in the Arena Settlement – he later had to amend his statement
(11) Sold his interest in Global Switch for an estimated profit of £98 million but failed to pay any UK tax
(12) Continues to party like a playboy in Ibiza and Majorca, entertains large parties at the British Grand Prix onboard Babylon for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, prime seats at the Anthony Joshua fight in Cardiff etc
(13) He has undertaken business ventures with Grinnall – who was arrested for throwing a stool at a fellow diner in Rock Stein’s Sandbanks restaurant and was incorrectly reported dead in Spain)
(14) Accused by Gerald Smith of stealing money (£230 million) due to him in a business venture
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