Man saves big in divorce settlement by telling judge: I meant $ instead of £

Man saves big in divorce settlement by telling judge: I meant $ instead of £

A wealthy property investment manager fighting over money with his ex-wife said he mistakenly used a British sterling sign instead of an American dollar symbol when jotting down a figure – and a British High Court judge believed him.

His ex-wife found the figure “£6.8” among notepad jottings about the assets of three companies – and said the note meant that company assets amounted to $6.8m, Mr Justice Blair heard.

The man said he had mistakenly jotted the sterling symbol instead of the dollar sign in front of the number.

Mr Justice Blair said the man’s explanation was “broadly consistent with other evidence as to amounts” and added: “On balance, I accept his explanation.”

Detail has emerged in a written ruling following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Neither the man nor the woman were identified.

Mr Justice Blair said the man was 62 and had moved to the UK when he was a child and the woman was a 46-year-old Russian who had worked in insurance.

They had lived in Mayfair, central London, enjoyed a “very good standard of living” and the woman had been “friendly with a circle of wealthy Russians”.

The judge said the woman would get a £1.6m housing fund and payments of more than £50,000 a year.

She had wanted a £2.1m housing fund and annual payments of £78,000.

The woman said her ex-husband had undisclosed assets of more than £1m. He denied having any undisclosed assets and the judge accepted what he said.

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