Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has lost a fight with French tax authorities over his £87million Riviera getaway, Château de la Croë.
The owner of Chelsea football club may be the 140th richest person in the world, estimated to be worth around £9billion, but he has spent years battling authorities over a £1million tax bill.Abramovich, aged 51, bought the villa on Billionaire’s Bay – the Cap d’Antibes - in 2001 and has spent £30million renovating it.
But French authorities say he undervalued to property located on the popular Mediterranean resort between Cannes and Nice and he should have paid a higher 'wealth tax' on it, the Telegraph reports.
The battle over the home once adored by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor began when the French said the home was worth £36,000 per square metre.
The club owner said the 18.5 acre home with a living area of an estimated 2,400 square metres, was worth half of this.
The former King Edward VIII leased the property built in 1927 in 1936 after abdicating to marry Wallis Simpson.
Later, Sir Winston Churchill and wife Clementine chose the chateau as the location of their 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.
The Court of Cassation was told Abramovich believed authorities had grossly overvalued the property and had not taken into account his spending on renovating it.
However, when compared with similar properties in the area the authorities ruled Abramovich had underpaid between 2006 and 2007.
In recent months Abramovich has had reported run ins with UK authorities over his visa and Switzerland released papers which stated he may have ‘links to money laundering and organised crime’ which he has fiercely denied.
On September 26 the court found against him.
Previous owners of the lavish home include Aristotle Onassis and Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos.
In July, steel magnate Abramovich bought his 6,000 sq ft home in London close to Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium.
He purchased the property after delays in renewing his investor visa against a backdrop of worsening UK relations with Russia.