Banks are moving to force a foreclosure on a $50.9 million New York penthouse belonging to Nigerian businessman, Mr. Kola Aluko, who has been indicted alongside former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, in large scale shenanigans perpetrated in the oil sector.
The recovery of the 79th-floor luxury penthouse at the One57 tower on “Billionaires’ Row” could become the biggest residential foreclosure in New York history, The New York Post reported on its website.
The 48-year-old energy tycoon — who is pals with Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell — hasn’t been paying his bills on the $50.9 million luxury condo, and a European bank is forcing a sale next month.
The Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland, which issued a $35.3 million mortgage on the 6,240-square-foot spread at 157 E. 57th St., has listed as collateral Aluko’s 213-foot yacht, the Galactica Star, and is looking to collect what it’s owed plus interest, court documents show.
On top of the unpaid mortgage that came due last fall, Aluko has been racking up maintenance fees and taxes on the property. He has not been seen for some time, prompting speculation that he is hiding out on the Galactica Star.
The boat — which Aluko rented to Jay-Z and Beyoncé in 2015 for $900,000 a week — was last registered in Freeport, Bahamas, on May 3, but is currently “out of range,” yacht trackers said.
According to sources, Aluko did appear with the yacht at the ill-fated Ja Rule Fyre Festival music event in the Bahamas in late April. Prior to that, the Galactica Star left Cabo last year and was briefly berthed in Turkey, records show.
Aluko is close pals with Leonardo DiCaprio, and partied with the Oscar winner at his birthday in New York in 2013. Reps for Aluko confirmed at the time that he had made a large donation to DiCaprio’s environmental charity.
Lately, Aluko has been dodging Nigerian authorities, who in February tried to freeze his assets, including the apartment, as part of a money-laundering probe.
Aluko, who claims Switzerland as his residence, was among those who allegedly obtained lucrative contracts from Nigeria’s former oil minister, who has also been accused in a $1.76 billion scheme to defraud the government of oil sale profits that both have denied.
The alleged plot may have parked the money in assets around the world, including jets, automobiles and pricey
real estate in London, Sweden, Dubai, New York and California.
Aluko has been busy flipping many of the expensive properties he’s bought. In Montecito, California, Gwyneth Paltrow paid Aluko an undermarket $4.9 million for a 2.4-acre estate that was equipped with a massive pool.
In 2012, Aluko paid $14.7 million for an 11,478-square-foot manse in Beverly Hills that was rented to Ariana Grande. The singer had to leave when Aluko sold it for just $13 million in 2016.
More recently, a shell company controlled by Aluko has been trying to unload an apartment at 1049 Fifth Avenue, which it bought for $8.5 million in 2013.
The apartment, whose two combined units boast four bedrooms and four bathrooms, a maid’s apartment and two storage units, has liens on it of more than $20,000, and it owes $61,000 in taxes to the city as of July 1.
Luxury skyscraper One57, built by real estate mogul Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, holds the sales record for a full-floor apartment, with one unit that sold for $100.5 million.
But with lots of competition from new Billionaires’ Row towers, including 432 Park Ave., it has become harder to sell and rent mega-priced condos.