Romania’s wealthiest person Dinu Patriciu (in picture) is going though a divorce and will most likely lose some of his fortune to his wife, who has asked the court for half of the goods and money the two made during their 18 years of marriage.
Dana Patriciu said her husband gave away goods that belonged to the family, as he had an affair and his health was poor. She accuses him of having taken furniture and décor pieces and gifts from their house in Siliştea Snagovului and given them to his mistress, or signed them off to her.
The Patriciu couple together own real estate, paintings, jewelry and shares in companies in several countries. Dana Patriciu asked the court to separate the goods and give her half, as she had failed to convince her husband to stop taking goods out of the joint estate.
Patriciu, worth USD 1.5 billion according to Forbes, seems to have had a troublesome financial year. Some of his businesses failed – the neighborhood retail chain Mic.ro and the retail chain MiniMax went insolvent. The Romanian media suggests that Patriciu could have debts of EUR 100 million.
The only Romanian billionaire still in the Forbes list of the richest in 2012, Dinu Patriciu has been pawning an impressive personal collection of paintings worth over EUR 2 million to companies he controls, registered in Switzerland and Cyprus, as well as to an individual. The paintings must be among the largest private collections of significant art works by Romanian artists. The 80 paintings were pawned to DP Holding (Switzerland), Verdesco Limited (Cyprus) and Melanie Anne Chen. Melanie Chen is a member of the Board Directors of DP Holding and CEO of Marine Resources Exploration International BV, all companies owned by Patriciu.
Patriciu’s reasons are not clear, but by pawning the paintings to companies he owns he could be raising capital and/or simply removing the art collection from Romania, while stashing valuable assets potentially beyond the reach of Romanian jurisdiction.