Back in June, we introduced you to Nigerian oil magnate, Kola Aluko, the mysterious (now former) owner of Unit 79, a penthouse in Manhattan’s ultra-luxury One57 tower, one of several buildings clustered around Central Park that comprise Manhattan's "Billionaire's Row."
Aluko bought the 6,240-square-foot, full-floor penthouse in December 2014 for $50.9 million, concealing his identity with an LLC. At the time, it was the eighth-priciest in the building. But after taking out an unusually large ($35.3) mortgage with an even more unusual (one year) term the following September, Aluko defaulted, and his condo went into foreclosure - what will likely become the largest foreclosure sale in New York City history.
The auction, originally scheduled for July, was delayed when a creditor claimed Aluko owed it about $83 million for gasoline and jet fuel. But on Wednesday, Mark McKew, the New York lawyer appointed to handle the sale, has announced that the auction is back on. The sale will proceed on Nov. 8, Bloomberg reported.
Aluko, who has many celebrity friends including Beyonce and Jay Z. The couple once rented hist yacht for a brief vacation.
But Aluko’s days of loaning out “the Galactica Star” (that’s the name of his 213-foot, $100 million yacht) are probably over, because he’s going to need it to flee from authorities in his home country, and around the world.
The one-time billionaire is wanted by authorities in Europe, Nigeria and the US for defrauding the Nigerian government by withholding oil profits and bribing corrupt Nigerian officials to secure lucrative oil contracts
According to various reports, a Nigerian court tried to freeze Aluko’s assets, including his One57 unit, as part of the alleged scheme to defraud the government of oil sale profits.
Foreclosure proceedings were started in January. The unit was put on the market for $39 million, according to Bloomberg, with a StreetEasy listing describing the owner as a “MOTIVATED SELLER!!!”
And of course, that $39 million figure - like Trump’s push for a 15% corporate tax rate - is just an opening offer. Which is great news for for any wealthy real estate investors looking to buy at the market top.