The son at the core of the United Kingdom’s largest divorce lost a London court ruling over his role in concealing assets from his mother, with a judge describing him as “a deceptive person who would do anything to assist his father.”
Temur Akhmedov partnered with his billionaire father, Farkhad Akhmedov, to do “whatever he could” to prevent his mother from receiving a 450 million pound ($627 million) court-approved divorce settlement, Judge Gwynneth Knowles ruled Wednesday. Temur was ordered by the judge to pay his mother more than $100 million.
Temur’s trial drew attention after he announced he’d lost more than $50 million in day trading as a college student. He’d said that, rather than keeping his father’s money from his mother, he’d lost some of it through poor investments.
“Temur has learned well from his father’s past conduct and has done and said all he could to prevent his mother receiving a penny of the matrimonial assets,” the judge said.
Tatiana Akhmedova, Temur’s mother, wants the keys to a luxury apartment overlooking London’s Hyde Park in order to recoup some of the money.
Farkhad, who was born in Azerbaijan, amassed much of his fortune after selling a stake in a Russian gas producer for $1.4 billion in November 2012. However, the oligarch has declined to make any divorce payments, leaving Tatiana to pursue lawsuits in at least six countries with the support of litigation funder Burford Capital Ltd.
“Entirely predictably, given its original wrong and misguided judgment, the London court has ruled in favor of visiting ‘the sins’ of the father on an innocent and loyal son,” Farkhad said in a statement.
The fight has resulted in Tatiana’s so far unsuccessful legal attempts to seize a 115-meter (377-foot) superyacht once owned by Roman Abramovich that is now in Dubai, as well as a collection of modern art valued at more than $140 million in a safe storage facility in Liechtenstein known as the “Treasure House.”
Farkhad relocated to Russia following the initial divorce order in 2016. However, by obtaining an English decision against Temur, a U.K. citizen, his mother would be able to acquire his local properties more easily.
Temur said during the trial last year that his father made his own decisions. He described his mother’s decision to drag him into the lawsuit as “tremendously disturbing and in many ways very frightening.”
In a statement, he said that while he disagreed with the decision, “he would consider it a price worth paying if it led to a fair resolution between the parents he both loves.”
During the trial, Tatiana said that her relationship with her eldest son is “now very strained.” She said she had no choice but to sue him.
“I always knew that my strength would prevail through the smoke and mirrors as presented by Farkhad and his circus of illusionists,” Tatiana said in a statement after the ruling.
Temur testified during the trial that he had some early success trading stocks before going on a losing streak while studying at the London School of Economics. When he attempted to recoup the funds, “convinced this loss was just poor luck,” he increased his risk exposure and lost everything, he explained in court.
Temur’s explanation that his mother was aware of his trading was dismissed by the judge, who stated that the transfer of millions of dollars from his father’s account was intended to keep it out of her control. It didn’t matter that he’d then racked up losses, she said.
“All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Knowles said in her judgment. “With apologies to Tolstoy, the Akhmedov family is one of the unhappiest ever to have appeared in my courtroom.”