Nottingham

Wife's bid to stop ex-husband spending £18m fortune

Maya Kanev-Lipinski (left) and Shahar Lipinski (right) Image copyright Champion News
Image caption The High Court in London heard Maya Kanev-Lipinski (left) obtained a temporary asset freezing injunction against Shahar Lipinski (right) in December last year

A millionaire's ex-wife is trying to stop him "frittering" cash on "boys' toys" before a court rules on how their £18m fortune is to be split.

Before divorcing in 2012, Maya Kanev-Lipinski, 44 and Shahar Lipinski, 45, built up a student property empire across the East Midlands.

Prior to the spilt, the couple signed a "divorce agreement" dividing their assets 50/50, the High Court was told.

But Mr Lipinski has been accused of "deliberately dispersing" their assets.

Andrew Hunter QC, for Mrs Kanev-Lipinski, said her ex-husband had been treating assets worth millions as "his own personal wallet".

"We fear that, as judgment day approaches, Mr Lipinski will continue to take money out of the companies...in a completely uncontrolled and untransparent manner.

"Our fear is he will be frittering away money on convertible Bentleys, penthouses and the like so that the assets are not there for enforcement."

The court heard how the couple lived an "opulent" lifestyle just outside Nottingham in a £2m home, with a Mercedes and Cadillac on the drive, before they were divorced by a rabbinical court in Israel.

Image copyright Champion News
Image caption The couple lived in a £2m five-bedroom home near Nottingham before their divorce in 2012

But when three of their properties in Leicester were sold in in 2014, Mr Hunter said it was done "without giving Mrs Kanev-Lipinski full information and without accounting to her for the proceeds of any sale".

He told the court that family companies worth £13.3m in 2013 were now valued at minus £4m. Money was moved into "speculative, high risk investments", leaving "a diminished pot of assets."

Describing the divorce as a "bitterly contested dispute", he added: "There are statements from associates that he wants to leave her without a penny."

Elizabeth Jones QC, acting for Mr Lipinski, said the case was "very unfortunate" and denied he was in any way trying to fiddle his ex. She added he was trying to keep the businesses afloat.

"The companies have avoided insolvency and are now more valuable as a result of the various actions of Shahar over the last three-and-a-half years," Miss Jones said.

She said Mr Lipinski did buy a £70,000 convertible Bentley but Mrs Kanev-Lipinski had spent £95,000 on cars since the divorce.

Miss Jones QC said the penthouses were owned by the former couple's shared companies, so could not be viewed as "dissipation" or "frittering".

In December Mrs Kanev-Lipinski obtained a temporary High Court asset freezing injunction against her ex-husband and now wants the order to be made permanent.

The hearing continues.

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