Sergei Grishin, ‘Scarface Oligarch’ Who Sold Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Their Montecito Home – Dies

Sergei Grishin, ‘Scarface Oligarch’ Who Sold Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Their Montecito Home – Dies

Sergey Grishin – Social Media / East2west News

Sergei Grishin, who has died aged 56 in Moscow, was the Russian oligarch who in 2020 sold the Duke and Duchess of Sussex their nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom mansion in the exclusive Montecito neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California; It is not known if the couple was aware of the seller’s dark past.

Known as the “Scarface Oligarch” because he previously owned another California estate that was featured in the 1983 Al Pacino film, the heavyset Grishin claimed to have “practically dismantled the Russian banking system” in the 1990s by “the biggest bank fraud scheme ever”. ”, and during the sale of the chateau at Riven Rock to the royal couple, became embroiled in a legal battle with his estranged wife with claims and counterclaims of violence.

Sergey Grishin - Social Media / East2west News

Sergey Grishin – Social Media / East2west News

Sergey Grishin was born on June 21, 1966. After graduating from the Moscow Institute of Electronics Techniques with a degree in physics, as the Soviet Union collapsed, he began his career baking cookies and hot dogs in his flat and selling them on the streets of Moscow. In the late 1990s he became chairman of Rozvoro Group, owner of Rozvorobank, founded in 1994.

An investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project in 2014 named Rozvorobank as a “global laundromat” involved in the transfer of $20 billion in dirty Russian funds to the Western banking system. One expert described the scheme as a “sin through which the proceeds of the kleptocracy flow from Russia to the West”.

Inside the Chateau at Riven Rock - Ekaterina Loginova

Inside the Chateau at Riven Rock – Ekaterina Loginova

In 2018, Grishin uploaded a video to YouTube (since deleted) in which he boasted of his central role in the scam: “I discovered it. I stole a lot in Estonia and Russia. It was the biggest fraud scheme, because no one knew exactly how much.” The money was stolen.” Some estimates suggest that the “Laundromat” may have a net worth of $60 billion.

Grisin’s goal appears to be to convince the Trump administration to grant him US citizenship on the grounds that he has inside knowledge of Russian crimes that would be of interest to the FBI. He wanted American officials to know “how a man like me could bring down the Russian banking system”.

“I want to be safe,” he explained. “I am currently being harassed by the Russian criminal underworld … even by high-ranking Russian government officials.”

Grisham had already invested heavily, if unknowingly, in US real estate when the videos appeared. In 2008 he paid nearly $20 million for El Fureidis, where scenes from Scarface were filmed, in 2014 it sold for $17.9 million. In 2009 he paid $25.3 million for the estate which he sold to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2020 for $14.65 million.

Grishin was married at least three times, according to Russian media. In 2017, his last marriage to Anna Fedosiva lasted less than a year, sparking a protracted court battle, in which Grishin was variously accused of assault, battery, extortion, domestic violence, invasion of privacy and cyberstalking. Both Anna Fedosiva and her friend and business partner Jennifer Sulkes successfully sought restraining orders against him amid death threats and claims of hiring hitmen.

Grishin later reportedly began a relationship with Ekaterina Loginova, a former model who reportedly packed her bags and returned to Russia after Grishin issued death threats against her.

After selling the chateau at Riven Rock to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Grisin, somewhat surprisingly, may have returned to Moscow where he died of “circulation problems in his brain” that allegedly led to sepsis, according to BAZA media, which is Russian. Has a close relationship with the authorities.

Sergey Grishin, born 21 June 1966, died 6 March 2023

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