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Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon - Listerine Heiress Dead At 103

Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon, the deeply private heiress caught up in the spectacular downfall of former Senator John Edwards' political career, has died at 103.

Her longtime personal attorney Alexander Forger said from his office in New York City that Mellon died of natural causes Monday at her 4,000-acre horse farm in Upperville, Virginia. More on her life coming soon.

Billionaire Owner Of Indianapolis Colts Arrested

Billionaire Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested Sunday evening it was announced by Carmel, Indiana police. "During the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside sobriety tests," Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel police said in a statement. When police searched Irsay's Toyota Highlander, "multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles. These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle."
The 54-year-old admitted battling substance abuse in the past, including admissions of treatment for prescription drug use and has claimed that he quit alcohol 15 years ago.
Irsay's father, the late Robert Irsay, was a self-made multi-millionaire, a construction magnate who bought the Baltimore Colts in 1972 and controversially moved the team to Indianapolis in 1984. After his death in 1996, he left his fortune, including the Colts, to Jim, who is now worth an estimated $1.6 billion.  Irsay faces four Class D felony counts, each of which can carry between six months and three years in prison. 

Last Surviving Grandchild of Automaker Henry Ford Dies

Billionaire William Clayton Ford Sr., owner of the Detroit Lions and the last surviving grandchild of original automaker Henry Ford has died at age 88. Having bought controlling interest in the Lions in 1963 for $4.5 million, Ford was the figurehead for the franchise for over five decades. Ford had been the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford, and made his money through the Ford Motor Company, where he served on the board of directors for 57 years. The Lions have not announced who will take over the team, though William Clay Ford Jr. could be a candidate. Ford Jr. currently serves as the team's vice chairman as well as the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.

Millionaire Shepard's Chapel Pastor Arnold Murry Dies At 85

In a statement from their website, The Shepard's Chapel, it was announced, "We regret to inform the congregation that Pastor Arnold Murray passed away on Wednesday, February 12th 2014. We have no doubt the Lord greeted Pastor Murray with a hardy, "Well done My good and faithful servant."" 

Pastor Arnold Murray was a jolly man who taught the bible in a way that really helped people understand what was really being said which made it much easier to understand the teachings of the Bible. The Pastors in depth knowledge of the Bible allowed him to interpret It in a way that he was able to help "put you there" in the shoes of the person he was talking about and explained things to his followers. A very private man, and as pastor of the Shepherd’s Chapel Church, located in Gravette, Arkansas, he built the largest independent Christian television network in the world. He also served a President of the Shepherd’s Chapel Network. 

Wikipedia has said "Since 1985, Shepherd's Chapel has been broadcasting one-hour televised Bible studies over its satellite network on over 225 television stations on DirecTV and Dish Network - it is thought to be the largest independent Christian television network in the world. Pastor Murray teaches a "chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse study of God's Word; the Bible".

Pastor Murray proudly served our country in the United States Marine Corps as a combat Marine serving in Korea, he made the Incheon landing and survived the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. He enjoyed working with the machinery on his farm and being outdoors. Pastor Murray was an instrument rated airplane pilot, and he enjoyed flying his entire life. He enjoyed life and helped millions others learn to enjoy theirs too.

Born April 20, 1929, in Waurika, Oklahoma, to Edgar Dude Murray and Casey Brown Murray, he was preceded in death by his loving wife of forty-six years Anna Murray, and his son David Vernon Murray, who past away last year unexpectedly.  Pastor Murray is survived by his son Dennis Arnold Murray and his wife Marion, of Gravette, his sister-in-law Martha Sweeter, also of Gravette, his granddaughter, Jessica Murray Pike, and her husband Luther Pike, of Hiwasse, and one sister Fayezel Jackson, of Houston, Texas.

Funeral arrangements are being made by Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory. A memorial service for Pastor Murray will be held on April 5th at 10:00 a.m. at the Chapel. The Murray family has asked that donations be made to the charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.

Coming In April -An All New Update To Billionaire World News

We appreciate all our loyal readers and now that it is 2014 we are in the works to give you an all-new updated website. We are sorry for the slow reporting as recently we have been working hard to update our other websites to give you the best, most informative sites available about the wealthy and most powerful people in the world. The time has finally come for Billionaire World News to get it's "makeover"
So please stay with us as we truly appreciate your continued patronage.
We plan to be bigger and better than ever. Thank you so much for staying with us.  Nothing but the kindest regards, The BWN Team

Gates Leaves Chair Role At Microsoft; Nadella Named CEO

Microsoft has named Satya Nadella (pictured left), an executive in charge of the company's small but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet, as its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser.

The software company announced, Tuesday Feb 4, that Nadella will replace Steve Ballmer, who said in August that he would leave the company within 12 months. Nadella will become only the third leader in the software giant's 38-year history, after Gates and Ballmer. 

Nadella, who is 46 and has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, has been an executive in some of the company's fastest-growing and most-profitable businesses, including its Office and server and tools business.

Board member John Thompson will serve as Microsoft's new chairman.

Amazon Billionaire Jeff Bezos Has Kidney Stone Attack

Amazon Billionaire Jeff Bezos suffered a kidney stone attack while vacationing in the Galapagos Islands and was airlifted from a cruise ship by the Ecuadorian Navy. Galapagos Digital  reported today that the new owner of the Washington Post was flown by helicopter from a cruise ship off Santa Cruz Island to Baltra Island after suffering a kidney stone attack on New Year's Day.

From there he took his private jet back to the United States to receive treatment. Bezos is said to be in good spirits even joking in an email to Reuters.

Major Money Donor Billionaire Harold Simmons Dead At 82

Dallas billionaire and huge GOP political donor Harold Simmons, who has given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates, has died at age 82.

Simmons' spokesman Chuck McDonald said Simmons died yesterday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. No cause of death has been announced.

"His legacy of hard work and giving will live for generations," Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a statement.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said that Simmons shared his success with the state he dearly loved, giving generously to make advancements in healthcare and to improve higher education. Simmons' has given tens of millions to Texas organizations, including charities, medical groups, education groups and civic organizations. A UT Southwestern Medical Center spokesman said his donations to their institution alone approached $200 million.

He has also given money to political candidates, including Texas Governor Rick Perry and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  He currently sits at No. 40 on Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans with a net worth of $10 billion as of the fall, according to Forbes.

According to a biography on his namesake foundation's website, Simmons earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas.

He decided at the age of 29 to buy a small Dallas drugstore, according to his biography. He went on to buy Williams Drug Co. in 1966 and 30 more drug stores the next year, followed by an $18 million buyout of Ward's Drugstores in 1969. He sold his stores in 1973 for $50 million in Eckerd stock. He then started a career as an investor, buying major positions in publicly traded companies.

According to The Dallas Morning News, his foundation has also recently donated $600,000 to Resource Center, a group that serves the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

One of Harold’s best friends, fellow billionaire and Texas oil tycoon,

T. Boone Pickens said in a statement, “Harold accomplished so much in his life. He was a passionate person - passionate about his family, his business, philanthropy and politics. We should all leave such a rich legacy behind.”  See a few pictures of Harold Simmons Mansion in Dallas here.

Granddaughter of Billionaire General Foods Founder Marjorie Merriweather Post Murdered By Lover

The great-granddaughter of heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post has been found murdered at her luxury spa resort on the Caribbean island of Roatan, Honduras police said Friday.

Roatan police chief Alex Madrid said Nedenia Post Dye was found stabbed in her room on Dec. 22. He said police had arrested a local singer whom Dye was helping quit drugs.

The suspect, Lenin Roberto Arana, told police that he and Dye, 46, had been romantically involved, Madrid said. Arana, who used the stage name "The Canary," told local reporters that he was innocent.

Madrid said Dye had been living for 15 years on Roatan, where she ran the Baan Suerte luxury spa. Dye was a great-granddaughter of General Foods founder Post, the wife of E.F. Hutton who built Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago, now owned by Donald Trump. Dye was also a relative of actress Dina Merrill. See that story, Relative of actress Dina Merrill

Seagram Billionaire Edgar M Bronfman Sr Dead At 84

Billionaire Edgar M. Bronfman, Sr., the son of legendary Canadian liquor magnate Sam Bronfman, who expanded Seagram Ltd. internationally and transformed the World Jewish Congress into a prestigious global advocacy force, died peacefully Saturday night 12-22-13 at his home in New York surrounded by family. He was 84. No longer the owner of Seagram Ltd, Following his father's death in 1971, Bronfman took over as president, treasurer, and director of Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd. His son Edgar Jr. succeeded him as chief executive officer of the company in 1994 In the 1990s, Edgar Bronfman Jr., altered the focus of the company's operations to the entertainment business by first selling Seagrams' stake in DuPont and then acquiring Polygram, MCA and Universal Pictures. Eventually he orchestrated an outright sale of the entire company to French conglomerate Vivendi, who spun off the liquor operations and eventually sold those to Pernod Ricard and Diageo. Read his obituary here,

Edgar M. Bronfman Sr. dead at 84

Students To Walk Out Of Address By Billionaire Shari Arison

Director of George Mason University Hillel is excited that his university will be honoring the businesswoman who initiated Good Deeds Day, a small but vocal anti-Israel group on campus is protesting that decision.
Shari Arison, owner of Bank Hapoalim, will speak and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the university’s winter graduation Dec. 19. The American-Israeli is the co-owner with her brother of the Arison Group that includes Carnival Cruise Line and is consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful women.
The university recently created the Arison Group-endowed Professor of Doing Good Values following a donation from Arison.
But according to Students Against Israeli Occupation (SAIA), Arison Investments has companies “directly involved in the illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine.”
In a letter to the George Mason community, Craig Willse, assistant professor of cultural studies, and senior Tareq Radi noted that, “Given the central role the Arison Group plays in Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid state, we are deeply concerned that Mason is honoring Arison at commencement.” They also wrote, “It appears that Arison is being honored at commencement because of her donation of funds for a named professorship.”
The students at George Mason University announced they plan to walk out when the Israeli businesswoman-philanthropist addresses graduation ceremony on Thursday. To learn more about Billionaire Shari Arison see her executive biography on her webpage ShariArison.com
For Shari Arison's Contact or Mailing Address see the Billionaire Mailing List on the Billionaire Addresses page.
Thank you to  Washington Jewish Week for this story. 

Billionaire Mars Candy Heiress Avoids Jail After Killing Woman

The billionaire co-owner of the Mars Candy empire avoided jail on Thursday after she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving in connection with a fatal accident in which a grandmother and an unborn baby were killed.

Mars was driving her Porsche SUV in Loudoun County, VA on October 4, 2013 when she crossed the center line on Route 50 and slammed into a Chrysler minivan.

Jacqueline Badger Mars, 74, had her driving license suspended for six months and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine during a hearing in Loudoun County General District Court, Virginia.

The judge could have sentenced Mars to a year on the misdemeanor charge; however, the family of victim Irene Ellisor asked the judge not to throw Mars in jail.

A backseat passenger in the minivan - 86-year-old grandmother Irene Ellisor, of Huntsville, Texas - was pronounced dead at the scene. The minivan's driver, Ashley Blakeslee, was eight months pregnant. Her unborn child, Charlie, died.

Court papers say Mars told a witness she fell asleep just before the October crash. The Ellisor family asked the judge to not jail Mars, saying they had forgiven her. 

See an aerial view of Jacqueline Mars estate on our sponsors blog Billionaire Addresses.

Billionaire Murdoch Divorce Finalized

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp. and 21st Century Fox and his wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng Murdoch, have announced the finalization of their divorce. Shaking hands and briefly hugging after a short proceeding in a Manhattan court., "We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce," the two said in a statement released through a publicist. "We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters."

The terms of the agreement weren't disclosed in court, but a person familiar with the settlement said Wendi Deng Murdoch will keep the couple's Beijing house and their apartment on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. The couple will share custody of the school-age girls, who are expected to continue living with their mother in Manhattan, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the personal matters.

Rupert Murdoch will retain properties elsewhere, including an estate in Bel Air, Calif., the person said.

The divorce will be finalized after state Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer signs some yet-to-be-submitted paperwork. She told the couple Wednesday she was glad they had resolved the matters amicably.

See Oprah Winfreys House And Estate
In Montecito From Above - 20 Aerial Views

On November 2, 2013 Oprah Winfrey auctioned off many of the furnishings from her Montecito-Santa Barbara, California home plus other furnishings she had shipped in from her other homes. She has said as she got older her tastes evolved so she decided "out with the old and in with the new". She went on to say that “the gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carbets and sherbet palette – it was all very grand, but it wasn’t very true to myself,” concluding, “the thing that had been missing from all the beautiful places I’d ever lived in, was me!”  Proceeds from the sale, called the Oprah Winfrey Collection Auction, was held at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club and saw more than a thousand attendees both in person and online. The sale, which netted a total of $559,200 (excluding the buyer's premium) will benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund.  Oprah's house has been talked a lot about since she purchased the property in 2001, which she admits was a “compulsive purchase”. Oprah's estate is a 42 acre property overlooking the ocean from high up in the hills of Santa Barbara County, California. The 23,000 sq. ft. mansion and estate is valued by Zillow.com at $87,987,066.00 with $904,239.00 paid in taxes for 2012.  Oprah's house in Montecito was built in 1959 and has undergone extensive renovations since she purchased it. According to public records, the fully renovated estate has 6 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, 10 fireplaces, a modern high tech gourmet kitchen, state-of-the-art theatre, wine cellar, a barn, orchards, two ponds, an outdoor theater, tennis court, a 4,500 sq. ft. guest house with pool, an outdoor entertainment area, and even a manmade lake stocked with fish. Public records also show a 2,000 sq, ft., 2 bedroom, 2 bath stone guard-gatehouse at the entrance to the property that sits on 2 acres and is valued at over $5 million alone.

Here’s a little history on the property. -  Oprah bought the property, which has both ocean and mountain views, from Southern California industrialist Robert Veloz and his wife, Marlene. They had been living in the property's 2,000 square foot stone gatehouse since it was rebuilt in 2000.  The Velozes had purchased the property for $14 million in 1998, a few months after the death of former owner Eloise Bacon at age 100. Bacon and her late husband, John B.F. Bacon, had owned the property since 1935. John Bacon, who died in 1964, was the grandson of John Baptiste Ford, founder of the glass company Libby-Owens Ford.

The Bacons had built an 8,000 square foot, ranch house on the site in 1957 (which has now been turned into the 23,000 square foot main house).  A 6,000-square-foot redwood house, later used for guests, was built in 1912 (Now also renovated by Winfrey to serve as her guest house).

The Velozes undertook a major renovation of the houses and grounds with the help of Corinna Gordon Interior Design of Montecito and Los Angeles. The designer spent nearly three years on the project, doing a lot of the architectural detailing and other work. The Velozes, supporters of such organizations as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Symphony and Santa Barbara Zoo, had planned to hold fund-raisers on the estate. The Velozes' plans changed when Oprah Winfrey came to town in April 2001 from Chicago to shoot photos for her magazine, O. She fell in love with Santa Barbara and made the Velozes an offer they couldn't refuse, $50 million.

The refurbishing wasn't complete, but Winfrey wanted the property anyway. $50 million changed the Velozes minds, as they were beginning to think that they didn't need such a big home despite the fun they were having fixing it up.

They had rebuilt the gatehouse, changing its layout and turning the outside from clapboard to stone. They had also already restored the redwood guest house, reconstructing the damaged foundation and redoing the interiors.  But they were still working on the main house on the site, the home the Bacons had completed in 1957.  Once bought by Winfrey, their plans were put on hold as she redesigned the home to suit her needs.  The renovations were finally completed in 2002 and other, smaller renovations have been on-going ever since.

After investigating we noticed there were not very many images of the entire estate, so we decided to give you a look.  Please visit our blog BillionaireAddresses.com to look at Oprah's House From Above - An Aerial View Of Her Montecito House 

Billionaire George Soros Gets Married Again

Though we featured photos of Billionaire George Soros Mansion and Estate in the past, we are taking a second look at his Bedford, New York estate he used this weekend to get married at for the third time. This time around he married his 42-year-old fiance, Tamiko Bolton. The 83-year-old philanthropist tied the knot with Bolton, a health care consultant, in a small, but lavish, wedding at the Caramoor estate in Bedford, an hour away from New York City. For full coverage of the three day event we recommend reading about it from our friends at DailyMail.
Our photos of the mansion and estate can be found here, Mega Mansions

Billionaire Announces He Is Transgender

A former Lieutenant Colonel in the US National Guard and heir to a billion dollar fortune has come out as transgender in a memo to employees.

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, formerly known as James Pritzker, is a billionaire and one of the heirs of the Chicago based Pritzker family that founded the Marmon Group of companies which includes the Hyatt hotel chain, the TransUnion credit agency, and a large stake in the Carnival Cruise Line.

Pritzker sent a memo to her Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Enterprises employees informing them of her name change and preferred gender.

Millionaire Tries To Kill Wife In Greenwich Mansion

Winding past the estates and beneath a lush canopy of trees is Round Hill Road, a road lined with millionaires and billionaires mansions and estates. For a road that even Judge Judy has an estate on, most would never suspect what goes on behind some of the gated driveways and closed doors. What police say they discovered inside the $7.3 million estate astonished even the most unflappable investigators on a local force that has grown all too accustomed to responding to domestic violence incidents.

Diane DeMaio, 54, a local nutritionist and mother of three adult children, lay motionless in a pool of blood in an upstairs closet larger than many bedrooms in town, even by Greenwich standards.  For indepth coverage of this millionaire mystery we recommend reading it on the CTPost

Now Over 2000 Billionaires On Planet

A new study from Wealth-X and UBS finds that the global population of billionaires has surged past 2,000. Their combined wealth totals $6.5 trillion—more than the combined gross domestic product of France and Germany.

Previous estimates placed the world's billionaire population at between 1,200 and 1,600.

The World Ultra Wealth Report found that just under 200,000 people in the world are worth $30 million or more. The $30 million-plus group, labeled the "ultra-wealthy," grew by 6 percent in 2013 and have a combined fortune of $28 trillion.

Thank you to CNBC For This Story

For Addresses To All U.S. Billionaires Go Here

Top 10% Takes Half Of All Earnings Widening Rich-Poor Gap

The gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it's been since the Roaring '20s.

The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year — their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.

U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. And it grew again last year, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.

One of them, Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez, said the incomes of the richest Americans surged last year in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.

In 2012, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.

But since the recession officially ended in June 2009, the top 1 percent have enjoyed the benefits of rising corporate profits and stock prices: 95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent.

The top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000 last year. The top 10 percent had income exceeding $114,000.

The income figures include wages, pension payments, dividends and capital gains from the sale of stocks and other assets. They do not include so-called transfer payments from government programs such as unemployment benefits and Social Security.

The gap between rich and poor narrowed after World War II as unions negotiated better pay and benefits and as the government enacted a minimum wage and other policies to help the poor and middle class.

Economists point to several reasons for widening income inequality. In some industries, U.S. workers now compete with low-wage labor in China and other developing countries. Clerical and call-center jobs have been outsourced to countries such as India and the Philippines.

Increasingly, technology is replacing workers in performing routine tasks. And union power has dwindled. The percentage of American workers represented by unions has dropped from 23.3 percent in 1983 to 12.5 percent last year, according to the Labor Department.

America's top earners tend to be highly paid executives or entrepreneurs — the "working rich" — instead of elites who enjoy lives of leisure on inherited wealth, Saez wrote in a report that accompanied the new analysis.

Still, he added: "We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable."

Thanks To The Associated Press For This Story

Austrailian Billionaire James Packer And Wife Announce Split

In a joint statement today, Australian gaming billionaire James Packer and wife Erica Baxter have announced their separation. “We remain deeply close friends and incredibly proud parents and our children are our priority going forward,” Packer and Baxter said in the statement. The couple who were married six years ago, have three children. It is Packer’s second marriage. His first marriage in 1999 was to model Jodhi Meares. They divorced in 2002.

Packer, 45, is Austrailia’s second-richest person with a net worth of $5.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Billionaire World News. He is the largest shareholder of Crown Ltd. (CWN), the country’s biggest casino operator. Erica Baxter, 36, is a former model and singer. Packer was born into a media dynasty started by his grandfather, Sir Frank Packer, and expanded father Kerry Packer. The Packers built their wealth through Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., owner of Australia’s biggest magazine publisher.

James Packer inherited the family business at just 38 years old. Within three years, he sold most of his family’s broadcasting and publishing stakes, as well as its cattle ranches, for more than $5 billion. He increased the family’s stake in Crown, and became the company’s controlling shareholder in December 2012. It was also announced on Thursday that Packer  bought the second largest stake in American online real estate website Zillow.com.  And life goes on in Our World Of Wealth. Stay tuned for the money to fly or hide once divorce proceedings begin.

Forbes: Who Got Rich This Week

Each week, Forbes scans their database of corporate insiders to see who got richer from action in the stock market. The good news is that the major American equity indices avoided a three week losing streak this week, so we have good news, more billionaires for the Forbes Billionaire List.


First up: Though not quite a billionaire, John W. Allison began the week with $96 million worth of Home BancShares, HOMB, stock. Based in Conway, Arkansas, Home BancShares is a bank holding company with dozens of retail branches throughout Florida, Alabama and Arkansas operating under the name Centennial Bank. The company was founded by Allison and Robert “Bunny” Adcock in 1998 and has since grown by a series of acquisitions. The company sums up its strategy as follows: “We acquire, organize and invest in community banks that serve attractive markets. Home BancShares’ advance netted Allison, the company’s largest individual shareholder, a $23.4 million gain. His 4.6 million shares are currently worth $119.4 million. Not to bad for a weeks work.

Next: Jon Oringer is now a billionaire. Shares of his company, Shutterstock, SSTK, touched an all time high during trading on Friday, changing hands at $57.49, a price nearly 238% above the firm’s offering price of $17 per share. At Friday’s close, with shares settling at $55.78, Oringer’s nearly 18.5 million shares were worth more than $1.03 billion, after rising 12.25% over the past week. The advance resulted in a $112 million gain for Oringer since last Friday’s close, and a $716.9 million gain since Shutterstock’s initial public offering on October 11, 2012. In addition to building Shutterstock, the increasingly popular online photograph and art marketplace that features more than 27 million images, Oringer created one of the internet’s first pop up blockers and is a certified commercial helicopter pilot.

Honorable Mention:  Carlos Slim Helu, though already a multi-multi billionaire, had himself a day on Friday. The Mexican telecom magnate made $2.13 billion as the value of his publicly traded holdings rose by 4.48%.  Next week: more rich getting richer. Thank you to Forbes.com

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch Buys Trophy Estate Moraga Vineyards High In The Hills Above Bel Air

Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has completed the purchase of a hillside vineyard estate above Bel-Air (visible from the 405 and the Getty Center) for $28.8 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Billionaire Google Co-Founder Brin Separates From Wife

Google Inc co-founder Sergey Brin has separated from his wife of six years,  the 40-year-old Silicon Valley mogul is reportedly dating a younger employee.  Brin and Anne Wojcicki married in 2007, have been living apart for several months, the couple's spokesperson said last night. 'They remain good friends and partners,' the spokesperson added.

The woman said to be seeing Brin has been named in reports as Amanda Rosenberg, a 26-year-old Google Glass marketing manager. There is no suggestion that the couple were dating before Brin separated from his wife.

Wojcicki, 40, is the chief executive of a biotech firm that Google has invested millions of dollars in and whose sister is one of the Internet search company's top executives.

Brin and Wojcicki, who have two children and have a prenuptial agreement, are not yet legally separated, the report said. Susan Wojcicki, Anne's sister, is senior vice president of Ads and Commerce for Google and is considered one of the Internet company's top executives.

The relationship between Google and the Wojcickis dates back to the company's earliest days: in 1998, the search company started by setting up shop in Susan Wojcicki's garage shortly after raising its first funding.

Google has invested roughly $10 million in 23andMe, the company that Miss Wojcicki co-founded in 2006 and which sells DNA testing kits and provides clients with information about their ancestry and medical conditions.

Mr Brin is currently worth $22.8billion and holds more than $20billion worth of Google shares.

Brin and Wojcicki have gained a reputation as a philanthropic power couple, donating tens of millions of dollars to a variety of charitable organizations. In 2012 alone, the couple gave away $223million, Los Angeles Times reported, earning them the distinction of being the fifth biggest donors to U.S. charities, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Much of the funds went to their own charity, The Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which promotes human rights and anti-poverty programs. They have also given tens of millions of dollars to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the couple co-founded a new organization along with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, which awards $15million prizes to life scientists. Thank you to Daily Mail for this story.

Fraud, Failure, Busted, And Bailed Out
All Pays Well For CEO’s

A significant number of America’s highest-paid chief executives have found themselves in hot water over the past 20 years, according to a new study.

Roughly 40 per cent of CEOs among the 25 highest-paid in the US have been fired, fined or bailed out, according to the report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies. This finding comes despite their astronomical pay – about 354 times the average – coming with an expectation for sky-high performance. Companies paying a premium for elite talent often do not realize the return they expect, the report says. In at least one instance, a CEO ended up with a conviction that would have led to jail time had he not died before sentencing.

The non-profit analyzed the 25 highest-paid CEOs for the each of the past 20 years and found that almost half of them had paid some sort of price for their poor performance. Of the CEOs on the list, eight per cent were fired, but received ‘golden parachutes’ averaging $48 million each upon their exit, according to the report.

Of the fined, eight per cent ended up costing their firm’s over $100 million in fines each, with one CEO paying fines out of pocket, for stock option back-dating, according to the report. Most scandalously on the list are financial executives, all of whom ‘were forced to receive bailouts for running their companies into the ground,’ according to the report.

In fairness, financial industry CEOs didn’t have much of a choice when it came to bailouts received though the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). All large banks received TARP bailouts whether they wanted/need them or not. The most publicized of those was Lehman CEO Dick Fuld. While Fuld pocketed over $466 million in compensation between 2001 and 2007, according to Reuters, he reportedly contributed to the once prestigious firm’s spectacular 2008 collapse.

Even more notorious is Kenneth Lay. As Enron CEO, Lay saw the firm rise to prominence on the back of predatory energy trading and book cooking the likes of which was unprecedented in American history. While handsomely reaping the benefits of a top 25 CEO, Lay oversaw the greatest corporate bankruptcy in American history, prior to Lehman. Enron’s collapse put thousands out of work, wiped out the pensions of many life-long employees and resulted in a Houston federal jury finding the chief executive guilty in 10 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. Facing the rest of his life in prison, according to the New York Times, Lay died of a heart attack before his sentencing.

The report suggests that reigning in CEO pay is the only answer to this problem.

Reforms surrounding the disclosure of CEO to worker pay ratio and pay restrictions on financial firm CEOs specified in Dodd-Frank legislation still not yet implemented three years after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law are suggested. Another suggestion is closing the IRS loophole that allows companies to deduct executive compensation from payroll taxes, which the report calls ‘outrageous.’  Thank you to ips-dc.org for their imput in this story.

Son Of Former CEO Of IBM Dies From Choking

The 41-year-old son of a former CEO of IBM has died after choking on a piece of steak at a New York City diner.

Louis Gerstner III passed away last Wednesday while dining alone at Lenox Hill Grill Diner on the Upper East Side. According to the owner of the restaurant, the married father of two ordered the $24.99 George’s steak which he washed down with a couple of vodka shots.   'He was fine. It was fine till the last moment,' John Politidis told the New York Post. 'He was just watching TV at the bar.' Grace Brugess, a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, said that he died at Lenox Hill Hospital. The results of Gerstner’s autopsy are pending.

Gerstner’s father, Louis Gerstner Jr, 71, became the CEO of IBM in 1993. At the time, the technology giant was in dire straits, but Gerstner was able to transform the struggling company on the verge of bankruptcy into a profitable business. Under his stewardship, IBM’s market value jumped from $29billion to $168billion over the course of nine years, Bloomberg reported..  

Gerstner Jr retired as CEO in 2002, and later wrote a book about his experience turning around IBM's fortunes titled Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Mr Gerstner’s impressive resume also includes stints at American Express and RJR Nabisco. Louis Gerstner III graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Business School, and was hired by the private equity firm Forstmann Little. Later in life, Mr Gerstner turned his attention to philanthropy. Most recently, the 41-year-old served as president of the Gerstner Family Foundation, providing education opportunities to underprivileged children, the New York Times reported.

In 2011, the charity reported $94million in assets. The foundation pledged $2million to the Partnership for Inner-City Education, which pays tuition for low-income children to attend Catholic schools, and $4.6million to fund a study of ADHD.

Louis Gerstner III is survived by his wife of 14 years, Mary Gervaise Lawhorne; their two daughters, Grace and Olivia; his sister, Dr Elizabeth Gerstner, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital; and their parents.  

Real estate websites show that Gerstner owned a lavish $2million two-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side, not far from the Lenox Hill Grill, featuring marble finishings and a health club on site. The 41-year-old philanthropist is also listed as the owner of a massive $12.7million colonial mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. The imposing 5,884-square-foot brick house nestled in a buclic landscape boasts five bedrooms, at least two fireplaces and a manicured lawn just a few minutes away from the Long Island Sound. Thank you to dailymail.co.uk for this story.

Socialite Sentenced To Picking Up Trash

A former New York socialite has been forced to don an unflattering orange jumpsuit and pick up the trash in Los Angeles after attacking her billionaire ex-boyfriend. To read more


Zara Billionaire And Co-Founder Rosalia Mera Dead At 69

Rosalia Mera, the former Spanish seamstress who co-founded the Zara clothing empire and eventually became the country’s richest woman, has died after suffering a brain hemorrhage while on vacation on the island of Minorca.

Ms Mera, 69, co-founded Inditex with Amancio Ortega, her then husband, in their native Galicia starting as a manufacturer of bathrobes. They later turned to making women’s clothing and opened the first Zara store in 1975. Inditex is now the world’s largest clothes retailer by sales and Spain’s largest company by value.

Born in 1944 in a working-class neighborhood of La Coruña, Ms Mera left school at age 11 to work in a clothing shop. She was widely acknowledged to have played a significant role in laying the foundations that saw a fledgling company from a traditionally poor region of Spain transform itself into a sprawling empire. In 2012, Zara averaged one new store opening a day.

Mr Ortega, now Spain’s richest man and recently ranked the third-wealthiest person in the world by Forbes, floated Inditex on the Madrid stock market in 2001. Ms Mera and Mr Ortega, who had two children together, separated in 1986.

Ms Mera retained slightly less than 7% stake in the company, helping her attain a net worth estimated at 3.2 billion.

Billionaire Carl Icahns Tweet Raises Apple Stock $17 Billion Really Showing The Power Of Social Media

With just one tweet billionaire investor Carl Icahn validated the power of social media and showed there is no such thing as an efficient stock market. He also made himself more than $50 million and 'unlocked value' to the tune of $22 billion for Apple. Icahn said via Twitter he has amassed a "large position" in Apple and believes the stock could be worth as much as $700 a share if Chief Executive Tim Cook pushed for a larger stock buyback. The surprise revelation from the billionaire activist caused a stir on Wall Street that within 3 hours pushed Apple's stock shares up $17 billion and then ended the day, after leveling off somewhat, almost 5 percent higher than the days start, at a 7-month high of $489.57.

Amazon Billionaire Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post

Jeff Bezos, founder of internet retail giant Amazon, will become the sole owner of the US capital's most prestigious news outlet, The Washington Post, owned by the Graham family for over 80 years.

Mr Bezos, 49, said he would not interfere with the day-to-day running of the newspaper, whose exposure of the Watergate scandal led to Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.

"The values of The Post do not need changing," said Bezos, who is worth about $23.2 billion. "The duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners." However, the surprise purchase was completed by Mr Bezos himself rather than Amazon, the website that has revolutionized bookselling and online shopping since 1994.

In the last three days, The Boston Globe and Newsweek, two other major US media brands, were sold by their owners after multi-million-dollars losses since their heydays. The Washington Post has endured a sharp decline in circulation, falling by about seven per cent according to the latest figures. The Washington Post Company's newspaper division, of which The Washington Post newspaper is the flagship title, has suffered a 44 per cent decline in revenues over the past six years. But while continuing to win a string of Pulitzer prizes, it has in recent years closed all of its regional bureaus across the US, while also making reductions to the number of its foreign correspondents overseas.

Donald Graham, the company's chief executive, said last night that interest from Mr Bezos had softened his family's staunch opposition to selling the newspaper that it has led for some 80 years.

"We wanted to do more than survive," said Mr Graham, whose mother Katharine was publisher in the Watergate era. "I'm not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success." Katharine Weymouth, the newspaper's current publisher and Mr Graham's niece, said they were resolute that a buyer "had to share our values and commitment to journalism or we wouldn't sell it." "This is a day that my family and I never expected to come," she said. "The Washington Post Company is selling the newspaper that it has owned and nurtured for eight decades ".

The sale comprises the newspaper, its website and a handful of other newspapers and printing operations. It does not include its potentially lucrative headquarters in downtown Washington. The remaining Washington Post company, which is to be renamed, will retain ownership of several other news outlets and properties such as Kaplan, an education firm and is its most profitable arm.

Martin Baron, the newspaper's editor since January, is expected to remain in his position and no lay-offs of journalists are anticipated, the newspaper's 2,000 employees were told in a presentation by Ms Weymouth last night.

Mr Bezos has had great success with Amazon, which he founded at 30 with a loan from his parents, and which enjoyed sales of $61 billion last year. However he has been sharply criticised for the firm's elaborate accounting set-up, which has allowed it to minimize its taxes. Amazon posted a loss of nearly $40 million last year, which it attributed to heavy investments in its Kindle e-reader business and global infrastructure of factories and distribution.

Billionaire Prince Says Saudi Arabia Is In Far Bigger Trouble Than The Other Royals Want To Admit

Saudi Arabia, home to the world’s largest reserves of cheap-to-drill oil, describes itself as a painstaking economic planner. It plots to keep current oil prices stable even while diversifying for harder economic days ahead. These practices have, among other things, resulted in the accumulation of $700 billion in official foreign reserves.

This self-depiction has always aroused suspicion since outsiders typically see little more than what the Saudis wish them to. But now a 14-page screed by one of the nation’s most prominent billionaire princes suggests internal dissent on whether the kingdom is planning painstakingly enough. Alwaleed bin Talal, a jet-setting nephew of King Abdullah who owns stakes in Apple, Citigroup and Twitter, says that Saudi Arabia faces a dire threat.

The main trouble, Alwaleed tweeted on July 27, is a flood of new petroleum reserves on to the global market, particularly shale oil from the US. These fresh supplies are eroding demand for Saudi petroleum and, since the country relies on oil exports for 92% of the state budget, will trigger a crisis unless the government acts post-haste.

“It is necessary to diversify sources of revenue, establish a clear vision for that and start implementing it immediately,” Alwaleed wrote in one of three letters that he posted with the tweet.

The letters, addressed to a variety of Saudi dignitaries including the king, are all dated in April and May. One can only speculate as to why Alwaleed made the highly unusual public release, but it may be that he felt his message was not heard. If so, it may be because his assertions diverge so much from the official Saudi message. On May 10, for example, Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi (one of the recipients of the letters), told a Washington audience that shale oil is “great news” for the US, and no threat to his own country.

There could not be a more stark contrast in news: the Saudis officially claim that they are building a gigantic array of solar panels that by 2020 will produce 24 gigawatts of power, and all but eliminate the need to burn oil for electricity. (Saudi currently burns 550,000 barrels a day of oil for its own needs, worth billions of dollars a year in potential export earnings.)

But Prince Alwaleed says that is not nearly enough. “Everybody knows that the policy of the western countries, led by the United States, is to decrease dependence on oil,” he wrote in green ink at the bottom of one letter. Because of that policy, he said, "The global dependence on OPEC’s petroleum and specifically the production of Saudi Arabia is in continuous and clear decline."

If the past is a teacher, Saudi leaders will either ignore or publicly dismiss Alwaleed’s assertions. But Twitter is popular with businesspeople in the Gulf as a forum that bypasses the straitjacketed mainstream press. Turning to it looks like an attempt by Alwaleed to bring direct pressure from public opinion to bear on the Saudi elite.

Thank you to qz.com writer Steve LeVine for this story.

Billionaire George Mitchell Dead At Age 94

Billionaire George Mitchell, who died Friday August 2nd at the age of 94, was a tenacious personality who changed the industries he touched, most famously pioneering a drilling technique that has overturned global economics and geopolitics.

Mitchell has been lionized for developing hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a drilling method that unlocks shale gas and oil. This extraction method has strengthened the US, shaken Russia and created many fortunes—including a $3.2 billion payday for Mitchell.

But his main impact came simply from traveling his own path. In the 1970s, long before “sustainability” became a buzzword, he championed the term and the idea. This drove him to take a lumber mill outside Houston and turn it into The Woodlands, a forested, environmentally designed community in which its 93,000 residents could live, work and stroll. And in an industry that scorns government, Mitchell relied on federal funding to crack open shale, a type of rock that the smart money said was impenetrable.

His stubborn independence came with some profound contradictions. Mitchell worried deeply about overpopulation, but nonetheless had 10 children. And though he publicly embraced renewable energy late in life, he never invested in it. These are but a few examples of what his son Todd called “the Mitchell Paradox.”

The shale drilling breakthrough came in the late 1990s. For years, Mitchell Energy’s gas properties near Fort Worth, Texas, had become less and less productive. So in 1982, with annual grants from the federal government, he ordered his employees to figure out how to drill into the underlying bedrock—the shale in which the gas originated. For 16 years they failed. Then, in 1998, a young engineer suggested substituting a high-pressure injection of water for gunky drilling fluids they had been using, and the result was promising, says Russell Gold, a Wall Street Journal reporter and the author of Frackistan, a book on shale drilling to be published next year.

The outcome was the shale gas boom. In 2001, he sold his company to Devon Energy for $3.2 billion. The resulting gas transformed the US from a gas importer to an exporter. It continues to reduce US oil imports. Among its consequences for global markets are that It forced Russia to cut its natural gas prices in Europe, thus undermining its economy, and it will potentially weaken OPEC.

But environmentalists around the world have screamed about fracking, and pressed for it to be curbed and, in some places, banned.

“This must have pained him because he really cared about the environment,” Gold told Quartz. “But he watched this technological innovation become something that environmentalists hated. That wasn’t really fair.”  Thank you to qz.com's Steve LeVine for the obituary.

Billionaire Gives Away $3 Million Bonus To Employees

The head of Russian aluminum producer Rusal is giving his $3 million bonus to 120 Rusal employees, the company announced today.

Rusal,  is one of the world's largest aluminum producers. Chief Executive Officer Oleg Deripaska is listed by Forbes magazine as worth $8.5 billion. He has been the head of the company since 2009.

Rusal said the giveaway was a one-time deal for the staff, the BBC reported Saturday. The number of shares the $3 million will purchase amounts to 0.05 percent of the total shares in issue, the report said. The company, employs 72,000 workers in 19 countries.

Billionaires Fake Will Gets Man 12 Years In Jail

A judge in Hong Kong on Friday sent a former lover of late billionaire tycoon Nina Wang to prison for 12 years for forging a will naming him the sole beneficiary of her estate, one of Asia's largest fortunes at an estimated $4 billion.

Justice Andrew Macrae handed down the sentence to Peter Chan, formerly known as Tony Chan, in the city's high court a day after a jury found him guilty on charges of forgery and using a forged document. Chan had pleaded not guilty to a number of charges.

Sentencing Chan to 12 years, Justice Macrae highlighted the "shameless and unparalleled greed" at the heart of a "well-executed and well-planned" crime.

"Never once ... have you shown the slightest remorse for your conduct," the judge said.

Known as "Little Sweetie" after a favorite Japanese manga character, Wang was one of Asia's wealthiest women, with a business empire including the Chinachem Group, Hong Kong's largest private property developer. She died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 69.

The petite Wang, known for her braided pigtails, miniskirts and pet dogs that she took to boardroom meetings, inherited most of her wealth from her husband, Teddy, who was kidnapped in 1990 and never seen alive again, despite the payment of a $33 million ransom.

The sentence is the latest setback for Chan, who was ordered in March to pay HK$340 million ($43.8 million) in overdue taxes, and has been hit by the long, costly legal battle for Wang's estate that he lost in 2011.

Chan, a former bartender and feng shui master who once lived in a cramped public housing flat, changed his name from Tony after that ruling and converted to Christianity this year.

In 2011, the high court upheld a previous judgment that a 2006 will leaving Wang's entire estate to her former lover and feng shui master was a forgery. Instead, it upheld an earlier will bequeathing her fortune to a charitable foundation run by Wang's family.

Billionaire Silvio Berlusconi, Former Prime Minister, Sentenced To 7 Years

Just In -Known for his many infamous scandals, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was convicted on Monday June 24, 2013 of paying for sex with a minor and sentenced to 7 years in prison and a lifetime ban on holding public office.

But while Berlusconi certainly was looking for a different verdict, he’s far from defeated. According to Italian law, he won’t serve any of the sentence until after his appeals are exhausted, a process that could take years. And even if the sentence is eventually upheld, reports say that he likely wouldn’t spend any time in jail because Italian custom is to not incarcerate people of his age, which is 76.

Billionaires, Millionaires, and CEO's
 With Secret Hidden Bank Accounts Revealed


We are now revealing the names and companies found by the ICIJ - International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, that have secret offshore bank accounts hidden all over the world. Search the database or download the entire database in one easy cvs (Excel) file. Find the story and links on our page, Hidden Bank Accounts Search

Billionaire Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch Files For Divorce

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng after 14 years of marriage. Murdoch, 82, News Corp chairman and CEO married his wife Wendi in 1999, 17 days after divorcing his 2nd wife, Anna Marie Torv Mann in the most expensive divorce ever recorded in history at $1.7 Billion.  Murdoch and Wendi have 2 children, 11 and 9 years old.
For more on this breaking story, we prefer coverage by MailOnline's, dailymail.co.uk

Wealthy Zip Codes Housing Sales Report Mansion Shortage

Agents for high-end estates are warning of a potential housing shortage facing the very wealthy, there simply aren’t enough mansions for those interested. A scarcity of housing inventory is especially prevalent in some of America’s wealthiest ZIP codes, according to figures from real estate firm Altos Research. 

In the country’s 90 richest ZIP codes, mansion availability has fallen 15 percent from last year, but in the very richest ZIP codes salable inventory has dropped more than 50 percent.
Carmel, California has seen the inventory of homes priced over $1 million drop by 76 percent.

Of the wealthiest zips, Palm Beach, Florida has fallen 70 percent and Old Greenwich, Connecticut is down 58 percent. There just isn’t the selection of mega mansions there used to be. Areas like Carmel and Pebble Beach, in California, have seen a rush of buyers from Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia. 

‘We are seeing an influx of luxury second home buyers coming into the market including venture capitalists, tech money, oil and gas, developers and CEO's,’ said Tim Allen, of Tim Allen Properties in Pebble Beach, told CNBC.
In Palm Beach, Cristina Condon of Sotheby's International Real Estate said the market is split between people from overseas but also Americans from other states attracted by Florida’s low taxes and lower prices.

‘Mansions in Old Greenwich are selling just days after being listed. The market is super hot there’, said David Oglivy, of brokerage David Oglivy & Associates.

‘About half the buyers are people moving within Greenwich and others are moving from New York City and other areas’, he said.

The hard times of wealthy people.

Bidder Pays $ 1 Million For Lunch With Billionaire Buffett

An anonymous bidder submitted the winning bid of $1,000,100 Friday on eBay for a private lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett . Compared to past years, they got deal for that price.
The private meeting  with one of the most-successful investors and philanthropists ever drew bids of more than $2 million in each of the past five years. Last year's record-setting bid was nearly $3.5 million.
Since 2006, Buffett has been gradually giving away his fortune. He plans to eventually divide most of his shares of Berkshire stock between five charitable foundations, with the largest chunk going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Proceeds go to the Glide Foundation, which helps the poor and homeless in San Francisco.

The Bilderberg Conference - See Exclusive Guest List

Bilderberg Conference is an annual private conference of approximately 120 to 140 invited guests from North America and Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About          one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications.
The conference was founded in 1954 as an annual event designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Though some believe a lot of "secretive" talks also happen amoung the dignitaries. Between 120 and 150 people take part each year.

A Bilderberg spokesman said in a press release: ‘The conference has always been a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world.It is said that this year,

they will also debate subjects including ‘can the U.S. and Europe grow faster and create jobs’, ‘how big data is changing almost everything’, ‘U.S. foreign policy’ and ‘Africa’s challenges’. We sure hope they find a solution to all the worlds problems this year! Don't hold your breath!

Given the amount of prestigious names set to attend the event at the luxury hotel, local police have been forced to step up security, which will be part-funded by the government.

The cloak of secrecy surrounding the meetings, which ban most journalists from attending, has fuelled various conspiracy theories, including that attendees are plotting world domination. As a result, there are fears that anti-capitalist protesters will cause ‘violence and disturbance’.

To see the full list of those in attendance and a few images of the hotel, please see Bilderberg Guest List 2013.

Top CEO Pay Figures Released For Last Year

Yahoo Inc. Buys Tumblr For $1.1 Billion

Yahoo Inc., is buying blogging network Tumblr Inc. for about $1.1 billion as Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer seeks to lure users and advertisers with her priciest acquisition to date. Tumblr, headquartered in New York, will continue to host its more than 108 million blogs, while CEO and founder David Karp, 26, will remain in charge of the website, “per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up,” Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said today in a statement.  

Adding Tumblr is expected to expand Yahoo’s audience by 50 percent to more than 1 billion monthly visitors, and increase traffic by about 20 percent, according to the statement. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

Howard Stern Buys $52 Million Palm Beach Mansion

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that the likely buyer behind a $52 million private sale today is non other than America’s Got Talent judge and radio shock-talk personality Howard Stern. The property was sold by textile and apparel executive Martin Trust and his wife, Diane, according to sources familiar with the deal. Stern has reportedly been looking for a house in South Florida for weeks with his wife, Beth Ostrosky. The five-bedroom house on the North End of Palm Beach had not been listed for sale in the multiple listing services that serve the island. Broker Lawrence A. Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates confirmed that a transaction had occurred for the property and that he handled the deal. But he would say nothing else about the sale or anyone involved. The property had a “total market value” of $40.8 million in the 2012 tax rolls — ranking it among the town’s highest-valued residential properties, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office. The main house has 18,673 square feet, for a grand total of 39,094 square feet of living space on the property. A representative for Stern could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

See more pictures and the deed to the home here, Howard Sterns PB Mansion

Billionaire GoDaddy Founder Gives Band $10,000.00

The billionaire founder, executive chairman, and owner of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons, has given a $10,000 check to the Patriotic rock band Madison Rising, it was revealed today. The legendary entrepreneur of #1 domain registrar GoDaddy.com, sent them a surprise $10,000 check days after seeing the band perform in Scottsdale, AZ.
“It was an absolute honor to meet Bob at the concert,” said Madison Rising lead singer Dave Bray, a Navy vet. “The way he introduced us gave me chills. I couldn’t believe it when we got a package from him a few days later and saw what was inside.”
Parsons who really likes their version of The Star Spangled Banner, introduced them saying, “I’m proud of the way the Star Spangled Banner is done… but these guys take it to whole new level. Join me as we have our National Anthem played by my favorite group, Madison Rising.”
Madison Rising released its widely acclaimed version of the Star Spangled Banner last summer, updated with a special addendum to reflect our nation’s struggles at the dawn of the 21st century.
Madison Rising will perform at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA this Friday, May 3, 2013

Billionaire Founder Of 99 Cent Stores Dies At 80

Dave Gold, founder of the 99 Cents Only Stores, has died. Gold, who popularized the 99-cent store concept with a string of more than 300 shops that eventually extended from California to Texas, reportedly died of an apparent heart attack. He was 80 years old.
Gold opened his first 99 Cents Only Store in Los Angeles in 1982.
He revolutionized the idea, offering quality merchandise at a reasonable cost. The idea caught on and he reportedly amassed a fortune in the billions.

Lauder Heir Gives $ 1.1 Billion Donation

Leonard Lauder, heir to mother Estee Lauder’s massive cosmetics fortune, has gifted his dazzling collection of Cubist art to New York‘s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Times reports.

Forbes values the collection at $1.1 billion, a figure Forbes used in calculating his net worth of $8.1 billion for their Billionaires issue, published in early March.

The Worlds Biggest Money Donors

Largest Lifetime Donations

Billionaire Soros Buys Into JC Penney

Billionaire financier George Soros has taken a 7.91 percent stake in slumping retail giant J.C. Penney, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

Billionaire Owner Of Sinclair Oil Dies At 86

The billionaire owner of Sinclair Oil, Robert Earl Holding, has died according to a statement released today by the company. The 86 year old Utah native was also the owner of Sun Valley Resort in Idaho and Snowbasin Resort in Utah, plus a couple of huge ranches in Wyoming and Montana.

The billionaire started out as a manager of the Little America truck stop near Green River, Wyoming in 1952, bought a mobile refinery in Casper, Wyoming in 1968, and Sinclair Oil in 1976.

At the time of his death, he was the 423rd richest person in the world, according to Forbes, with $3.2 billion.

See The Reuters Obituary Of George Soros, Before His Death

News service Reuters accidentally published an obituary yesterday for billionaire  George Soros. News organizations usually have obituaries planned well in advance for public figures like Soros, however this time the obituary was posted before Soros has even died. After publishing the mistake, Reuters removed the story with an apology. See the obit here.

Billionaires Daughter Poses For Playboy

The daughter of Formula 1 billionaire boss Bernie Ecclestone has bared all for the May issue of Playboy.

Tamara Ecclestone, dubbed The Diamond Heiress by editors of the men's magazine, graces the cover of the May issue, lying naked with her intimate areas covered by sparkling gems. There are 7 pictures of her in the issue with one featuring Ecclestone posing naked in a convertible driven by two maids and another of her lounging by a pool. On news stands now.

Billionaire Loses $601 Million On Gold In Just Two Days

According to the his lastest SEC filings, Billionaire Hegefund Manager John Paulson has lost over $600 Million in the past two days of trading, in what has been dubbed by Forbes as The Gold Market Collapse. An implosion that appears to have started in the gold market last Friday spread throughout the commodities complex on Monday, with everything from crude oil to soybeans falling.  Physical gold lost more than $200 per ounce, sliding nearly 15% over the past two trading sessions. For more on this story, please see Forbes.com

Did You Know? Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus Is A Billionaire

Celebrities often are worth a lot of money. Most are millionaires but there are a few who have reached billionaire status. Of those are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Madonna and Oprah. It has just been brought to Billionaire World News attention the there’s someone joining the exclusive billionaire club that you might not expect, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Yes the girl from ‘Seinfeld.’

Louis-Dreyfus is next in line to inherit a $3 Billion dollar fortune. It just so goes that Louis-Dreyfus’s father is Gerard Louis-Dreyfus of the Louis Dreyfus Group, a extremely successful French commodities trading company. His great-grandfather Léopold Louis-Dreyfus founded the Louis Dreyfus Group in 1851.

Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, age 80,  has been married since 1965 to Phyllis B. Louis-Dreyfus and has 2 children with her.  He had previously been married for 3 years to Judith Bowles, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' mother.

Johnson and Johnson Billionaire Dies

Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the Polish chambermaid who famously married into the Johnson & Johnson fortune, has died. The art collector and philanthropist was 76 years old. Johnson passed away in her native Poland on April 1 after what her family office described as a long and complicated illness. A resident of Monte Carlo, Monaco, Johnson was one of the wealthiest women in the world. As of the March 2013 Forbes Billionaires list, Johnson was the 376th richest person on the planet and the 42nd richest woman, with a net worth of $3.6 billion.

Born in Staniewicze, Poland in 1937, Johnson immigrated to the United States. Though she arrived with just $100 and a limited knowledge of the English language, she found work as a cook and chambermaid in the New Jersey estate of Johnson & Johnson heir J. Seward Johnson, where he lived with his wife Esther Underwood.

After just 9 months on Seward Johnson’s staff, the then Ms. Piasecka departed for Manhattan to study English. According to a 1986 account in People magazine, it wasn’t long until Seward Johnson sent his car to retrieve her and bring her back to his New Jersey office, where he professed his love. Shocked, Barbara Johnson later confessed, “I never expect it, because we could hardly talk to each other”. By 1971 Seward Johnson had divorced his wife of 32 years and married Barbara Johnson, with none of his children in attendance. Seventy-six at the time of their marriage, Seward Johnson was 42 years her elder.

Upon Seward Johnson’s death in 1983, a bitter legal battle erupted between Barbara Johnson and her late husband’s six adult children over his massive estate, then valued at approximately $500 million. In the 1986 trial, which lasted four months and cost some $17 million in legal fees, the Johnson children accused Barbara Johnson of manipulation, abuse and coercing their infirmed father into steadily altering his will to her economic benefit.

After an army of witnesses testified for both sides, the parties settled out of court, with Barbara Johnson retaining the majority of Seward Johnson’s fortune, including 18 million Johnson & Johnson shares and the couple’s 140 acre Princeton, New Jersey estate, Jansa Polana, which she later transformed into a country club with a golf course designed by Gary Player.

Thank you to Forbes.com

Billionaire Pays $ 155 Million For Artwork

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen has bought a famous Picasso painting from casino mogul Steve Wynn for a record price, according to a report in the New York Post on Tuesday. Cohen, who runs $15 billion hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors, purchased "Le Rêve," a 1932 oil painting of Picasso's mistress, for $155 million, the New York Post said, citing an unnamed source. The Post reported it is the highest price a U.S. collector ever paid for an artwork.

Billionaire Rinehart "Fails" Rich List Standards

Gina Rinehart is Australia's richest person and ranks among the world's wealthiest but the iron ore billionaire has been snubbed by a new women-only rich list on the grounds that she inherited most of her fortune. Mrs Rinehart will not appear in the inaugural BRW Rich Women List to be released today. The snub will likely to irritate Rinehart, who dislikes the "iron ore heiress" tag and has previously taken exception to suggestions she inherited her considerable wealth from her father, the late mining magnate Lang Hancock.  Thank you to TheWest.com.au

Forbes Releases It's

The 2013 Billionaires List

The United States still has more billionaires than any other country, but once again the world's richest person comes from Mexico. The ranks of the world's billionaires have reached all-time highs, both in terms of the number of billionaires with 1,426 and record net worth of $5.4 trillion. The 2013 Forbes Billionaires list now boasts 1,426 names, with a  total net worth of $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion. There are 210 new billionaires. Once again the U.S. leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific with 386, Europe at 366, the Americas have 129 and the Middle East & Africa with 103. For the addresses to all 442 U.S. Billionaires click here - Billionaire Addresses

Millionaire Widow Ordered To Give Part Of $250 Million Fortune To Given-Up Adopted Child

A wealthy widow who adopted a Chinese girl and then decided to give her up for re-adoption ten years later has been ordered by a court to give her a portion of her $250 million estate.

John and Christine Svenningsen of Westchester, New York, adopted a baby girl in 1996 who they named Emily Fuqui Svenningsen, to add to their four biological children.

Right before the adoption was finalized, they had another biological child and the husband John was diagnosed with cancer.

In December 2004, seven years after her husband died,  Mrs Svenningsen put Emily up for adoption and surrendered her to Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children, an adoption agency in New York.

According to court documents, on May 6, 1996, the Svenningsens signed an adoption agreement stating they would not abandon Emily or 'transfer or have her re-adopted', and that she would be deemed 'a biological child'.

The child’s new parents sued the Svenningsens to include her in Mr. Svenningsens will and won.

Mrs. Svenningsen and her five biological children appealed, but last week the court ruled in Emily's favor.

Since the death of John Svenningsen, his widow has spent over $33 Million buying some of the Thimble Islands in the Long Island Sound. (See picture above)

Click here to read more about this story at the DailyMail.co.uk.

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Facebook Co-Founder Worth 6 Billion Could Be Barred From The United States For Trying To Avoid Paying $67 Million In Taxes By Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his US citizenship. Doing so, he will probably save around $67 Million in taxes. But now he's also liable to be "excluded" from physically re-entering the United States.

 US immigration law does not look kindly on former citizens who renounce their citizenship to avoid US taxes. Specifically, it doesn’t look like Saverin should ever be able again to get a visa to enter the United States again.

Sec. 212. [8 U.S.C. 1182] details general classes of aliens ineligible to gain entrance into the United States. And the law specifically references people in Saverin’s category which is as follows: Former citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation.-Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is excludable"

This is what we at Billionaire World News put in our “Greedy Class”.   He has 6000 Million Dollars, again that's 6 Thousand Million, but won’t help our country out with just 67 of those million to save his citizenship and pay taxes like everyone else.  Seems to me people are really showing that they really DO only care about money nowadays. Shame, Shame. 

UPDATE: Eduardo Saverin now tells the US he will pay taxes in both the United States and his home country. We here at Billionaire World News believes the pressure applied by U.S. authorities stating he may never be welcome again in the United States had just a little to do with "his change of mind"    Ken Williams reporting for Billionaire World News

Big Banks Fined $9 Million Over Risky Products

Four of the nation's biggest banks were sanctioned on Tuesday over failing to supervise the sale of risky products to retail investors.

The banks -- Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo -- agreed to pay regulatory fines of more than $9 million to settle cases tied to exchange-traded funds.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street's self-regulator, accused the firms of failing to monitor the sale of so-called leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds, risky variations on the common products, without a "reasonable basis" for recommending the securities.

Read Entire Story Here

Garage Sale Antique Deed Worth $130 Million In Coke Stock?

When the late Tony Marohn bought an old deed for a couple bucks back in 2008 he had no idea what it would stir up after his death. Marohn's family now claims it is owed a $130 Million stake in Coca-Cola Company.
The antique Palmer Union Oil Company Stock Certificate, was traced by way of several other companies before being bought by Coke. His family has now taken on a legal battle with Coke saying they are entitled to about 1.8 million shares of the soft-drink maker. Read Entire Story Here

Billionaire Hedge Fund Index

Insider Monkey introduced its daily Billionaire Hedge Fund Index May 1, 2012. We track nearly 400 hedge fund managers and prominent investors. Around 10% of these people are billionaires. We created this Billionaire Hedge Fund Index to track the top 30 holdings of these 39 billionaire fund managers. Warren Buffett, George Soros, John Paulson, Jim Simons, David Einhorn, Ray Dalio, and T. Boone Pickens are some of these fund managers. Each stock’s weight was in proportion to the number of billionaires who had at least $10 million invested in the stock.
See All The Top Hedge Fund Managers Here At InsiderMonkey.com
 
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British Royal Family Wealth Disclosed By Wealth-X

How much money does the Queen and royal family have? The top members of the British royal family are worth more than $1 billion, with Queen Elizabeth II topping the list at $510 million. In honor of the queen's Diamond Jubilee, financial firm Wealth-X calculated the net worth of the top members of the British royal line of succession. The figure does not include the Crown Jewels or the Royal Collection of art.

1. Queen Elizabeth II         $510 Million

2. Prince Charles              $210 Million

3. Prince Andrew               $75  Million

4. Prince Edward               $45 Million

5. Princess Anne               $30 Million

6. Prince Richard              $25 Million

7. Princess Zara                $20 Million

8. Prince William               $19 Million

9. Prince Peter                  $18 Million  

10. Princess Sarah           $18 Million

11. Prince Harry                $16 Million

12 Prince David                $15 Million

13. Princess Beatrice        $ 2 Million

14. Princess Eugenie        $ 2 Million

In comparison, top soccer star David Beckham's net worth is $260 Million and the reigning soccer champions of England, Manchester City Football Club, are worth $443 Million.  Also, the British Cabinet at $108 million, with Prime Minister David Cameron worth $5.87 million.

How 21,000 Wealthy Americans Avoided Paying Income Tax

The richest woman in Wisconsin, Diane Hendricks, is worth an estimated $2.8 billion, but she did not pay a dime in state income tax in 2010, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel first reported.

Because of a change in how her company, ABC Supply Inc., the country's largest distributor of roofing, windows and siding, is structured, Hendricks reduced her personal state income tax burden from $2.3 million in 2009 to zero in 2010, according to  records the state Department of Revenue released to the Journal-Sentinel.

While a tweak in ABC's corporate structure allowed its CEO to get out of state income taxes, a complex web of deductions and exemptions in the federal tax code have allowed more than 20,000 wealthy tax filers get off the hook on paying federal income taxes.

A recent IRS report showed that 20,752 households that reported earning more than $200,000 in 2009 paid no federal income taxes. About 1,500 of those tax-free Americans were millionaires.

So how does someone in the top 3 percent of America's income earners finagle their income tax burden down to zero? For the majority of them, it's all about donating to charity, investing in local and state governments, earning money overseas and writing off doctor bills.

In Hendricks' Wisconsin case, ABC Supply switched from an  "S" corporation, which passes all of its profits and losses through its owner to be taxed under personal income, to a "C" corporation, which stands independently of its owner and whose income is subject to corporate taxes.

Scott Bianchini, ABC tax director, told the Journal-Sentinel that the switch was a "substantial part" of why Hendricks had no state income tax liability. Bianchini noted that while Hendricks' tax burden was minuscule this year, the billionaire has paid more than $10 million in taxes since 2005.

On the federal level, the nearly 21,000 high-income earners who aren't paying federal income tax represent only one half of one percent of the 4 million tax filers that make up the top 3 percent.

They account for an even smaller fraction of the 59 million tax filers who did not pay income tax in 2009. The vast majority - 56 million - of the people who skipped out on these income taxes earned less than $50,000 per year.

"It's tiny," Williams said of number of wealthy Americans who are income tax-free. "But these are the ones people get upset about."

In 1969, Congress was so up in arms about a mere 155 individuals who earned more than $200,000 and paid no income tax that it passed the Alternative Minimum Tax, which aims to prevent wealthy people from claiming too many tax exemptions and deductions.

More than 40 years after the AMT went into effect, the number of wealthy, income-tax-free individuals has ballooned to 133 times as many as the 155 that inspired the new tax.

In the 2012 battle for the White House, President Obama has made taxing these wealthy Americans a cornerstone of his re-election campaign.

Under Obama's tax plan, the Bush tax cuts would expire, raising taxes for married couples earning more than $212,300 by 3 percentage points. Obama also plans to enact the "Buffett Rule," which creates a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for millionaires.

Mitt Romney takes a virtually opposite approach to tax reform for the wealthy.

His plan not only extends the Bush tax cuts, but further reduces tax rates at all income levels by 20 percent, which puts the tax rate for those making more than $200,000 at about 28 percent. Romney ardently opposes instituting a minimum tax for millionaires, such as the Buffett Rule.

Under Obama's plan, the top 1 percent of income earners would see their taxes go up about 5 percent. Under Romney's plan, they would go down by nearly 8 percent, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center.

And as for the 21,000 wealthy Americans who currently pay no income tax, Williams said, "Under Obama's plan, these people would almost certainly pay more. Under Romney's, they will almost certainly pay less."
Thank you to Amy Bingham | ABC OTUS News

Facebook Billionaire Moskovitz Not Into Wealthy Lifestyle

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook co-founder and former Mark Zuckerberg roommate Dustin Moskovitz is by many accounts the world's youngest self-made billionaire. But the 27-year-old isn't sipping champagne in the Caribbean.

Instead he's thrown himself back into San Francisco's startup mix, even as Facebook's looming IPO seems likely to send his wealth spiraling even higher.

Moskovitz and his friend Justin Rosenstein, a former Facebooker himself worth $150 million, head a company called Asana, which just launched the first paid version of its online project management service.
Read Entire Story on Yahoo

Multi-Billionaire Trys To Control Missing Son's $100 Million Share Within Hours of His Disappearance

The billionaire uncle of missing Florida philanthropist Guma Aguiar has very quietly waded into tangled story by suggesting his nephew may still be alive.

As Guma Aguiar's mother Ellen Aguiar and wife Jamie were trading legal blows in court for control of his $100 million fortune, New York based Thomas Kaplan filed a claim that stated his nephew 'disappeared under suspicious circumstances'.

This new twist is the first foray into the legal fray that has surrounded Guma Aguiar's unexplained vanishing after he took his 31-foot fishing boat out on the evening of June 19 from his Fort Lauderdale home.

In the days immediately after the boat washed up ashore at a Fort Lauderdale beach without Guma Aguiar onboard, his wife Jamie Aguiar and his mother Ellen have been locked in a bitter legal battle for control of his $100 million in assets and property.

These moves by Kaplan are the latest twist in his own legal battle with his nephew to attempt to claim back a protion of the $200 million that his nephew received when Leor Energy, the company he and his uncle founded was sold for $2.55 billion in 2007.    Read More Here

Texas Billionaire Red McCombs Donates For Chimp Attack

Red McCombs says his foundation is writing a $5,000 check to the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, which is collecting donations for Andrew F. Oberle. McCombs tells The Associated Press his goal is to raise $100,000 for the 26-year-old student at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Oberle was attacked last week by two chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in eastern South Africa.

McCombs said he read about Oberle's plight. He says the money will go toward Oberle's medical expenses and anything else he needs.

Donors have already raised about $20,000 separately.

Red McCombs is The Texas billionaire who once owned the Minnesota Vikings,San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets.

Billionaire Paid Two Times What Mansion Is Worth

 The Russian tech Billionaire Yuri Milner who paid $100 million for a Silicon Valley mansion last year, broke sales records at the time. But now the Santa Clara County assessor says he overpaid for the property, by about double the cost. 

Tuesday, the Santa Clara County assessor told the Mercury News that the estate, known as Palo Alto Loire Chateau, is worth a lot less than Milner paid for it estimating its value at $50.27 million, about half of what he paid for it.  About 11 other luxury mansions were used as comparables and the home’s value was assessed by the county assessor’s office as well as three appraisers. 

“For whatever reason, and we don’t know, Mr. Milner purchased the property at more than its fair market value,” said Larry Stone, the Santa Clara County Assessor, as told to the Mercury News. “It doesn’t happen very often and we knew at the time that it was unusual, since the highest assessed residential property in Silicon Valley prior to that time was $28.5 million.”

Now with the lower assessment of the 17-acre, 25,000-square-foot estate, Milner will get a “big property tax break,” according to the Mercury News. His taxes will now be $600,000 a year, instead of the $1.2 million per year he thought he would owe. 

At the time of Milner’s purchase, the assessed value had been $25.7 million –paying $304,000.00 in taxes. Now the tax bill will be almost double. 

Research notes that fair market value and sales price are not the same thing, and it’s not rare in the luxury home market for homes to sell for much more than their market value. Still, housing experts note that a $50 million discrepancy is unusual. 

“Our job is to figure out, if it was listed on the open market—which this was not—what would other buyers have been willing to pay for it?” said David Ginsborg, a deputy for the Santa Clara County Assessor. “Our conclusion was there was no way anyone would have paid $100 million.”

The French chateau-style mansion offers 14 bathrooms, a ballroom, library, a home theatre, gym, indoor pool, sauna, a private car wash in the garage, and a 4,600-square-foot guest house.

The Wall Street Journal reported the 49-year-old Yuri Milner, whose primary residence is in Moscow, has no immediate plans to move into the home.

“It’s like artwork: When some people want something badly enough, they will pay what they believe they have to pay to get it,” adds Stone. “Even so, he may want to have a conversation with his Realtors.”

Meet The "Richest Man In The World", Carlos Slim

Exclusive: Carlos Slim is a multi-billionaire with a difference. Shunning a lavish lifestyle, his passion is for fine art and he is about to open a museum in Mexico, named after his late wife, so that others can appreciate his enormous 'money no object' collection.   Read More Here

Google Fined $25,000.00 For Street Data Collection

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google Inc faces a $25,000 fine for impeding a U.S. investigation into the Web search leader's data collection for its Street View project, which allows users to see street level images when they map a location.  Read More Here
The Bird Shed

Forbes Richest Americans List Released

Bill Gates has been listed by Forbes magazine as the wealthiest American for the 19th year in a row, with a fortune of $66 Billion, up $7 Billion from last year. There was no change in the order of the top five richest from a year earlier.

Total wealth of the US super-rich grew 13% to $1.7 Trillion, with the top 400 worth an average $400 million more in 2012. The group's assets are worth as much as one eighth of the US economy, and grew much faster than the economy at large.

According to the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, the average net worth of a person on the list was $4.2 Billion

In second place with a fortune of $46 Billion was investment guru Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of the insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

He was followed by Larry Ellison, head of software maker Oracle Corp, with $41 Billion.

David and Charles Koch of the energy and chemical business group Koch Industries were tied in fourth place with $31 Billion.

The majority of those on Forbes' list became richer in 2012. Two hundred and forty-one members of the group saw their wealth increase, while just 66 saw it shrink.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and financier George Soros dropped from the ranks of the top 10 into 12th place compared with a year ago.

But the biggest drop was seen by Facebook founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, who fell from 14th to 36th place in the wake of a disappointing stock market listing of his company.

He lost nearly half his fortune, which is now worth an estimated $9.4bn.

Also in the top 10 are four members of one family - the heirs to the Walmart fortune.

Here is the Forbes list:

  1. Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, $66 Billion
  2. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, $46 Billion
  3. Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle, $41bn
  4. Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, $31 Billion
  5. David Koch, co-owner and executive vice-president of Koch Industries, $31 Billion
  6. Christy Walton & family, heiress to Walmart fortune, $27.9 Billion
  7. Jim Walton, heir to Walmart fortune and chairman of Arvest Bank, $26.8 Billion
  8. Alice Walton, heiress to Walmart fortune, $26.3 Billion
  9. S Robson Walton, heir to Walmart fortune, $26.1 Billion
  10. Michael Bloomberg, founder and principal owner of Bloomberg LP, $25 Billion
  11. Thank to BBC for story. For All Forbes Richest Americans Address List See Here

The Mystery Of The Missing Fort Lauderdale Millionaire

It was a windy Tuesday night. The seas were rough, and the city's most famous stretch of beach was nearly empty. When the boat came to rest on the shore,still on where it navigation lights. Roused by a report called in to dispatch, Fort Lauderdale police officers Jonathan Bohm, Melissa DiMarco, and Nathan Stoner and Sgt. Ed Wenger headed to the spot, across the sand from Las Olas Boulevard. Approaching the boat on foot, they saw that its shifter was still in gear, the keys in the ignition. The twin outboard engines were still running.  Climbing aboard, Stoner found a white iPhone and a wallet on the center console,  flip-flops and a black T-shirt lying on the deck: things one might leave behind if going for a quick swim.

The wallet contents belonged to a man named Guma Aguiar.  Check of official records showed the boat was registered to him. Stoner woke up the iPhone, and the screen filled with a list of missed calls and panicked text messages from Aguiar's wife, Jamie. The texts said she hadn't heard from him. They had pleaded with him to answer.

Stoner called a Coast Guard petty officer by phone and asked him to initiate a search-and-rescue operation. Stoner relayed some information from the boat's GPS history: a fast trajectory from Aguiar's house about two miles northeast into the dark ocean, a quick turnaround, and then a long, slow drift back to shore.

Driving his patrol car, Bohm went over the Intracoastal Waterway and through the tony neighborhood of Rio Vista to the six-bedroom house that Aguiar shared with his wife and four children.  Jamie, beautiful at age 33 with straight blond hair, told the officer that her husband's sudden disappearance that night was out of the ordinary. She confessed their marriage was troubled.  Jamie and Aguiar had met in the 1990s at Westminster Academy, a nearby Christian high school. After college, with direction from a wealthy uncle, he had traveled to Texas and made more money than he'd ever imagined. Read More Here

Housekeeper's Daughter Tries To Blackmail Billionaire

The daughter of a recent housekeeper of a wealthy South Florida family that founded discount jewelry store Claire’s was thrown in jail after threatening to blackmail them for a hefty payment of $3 million.

Charged with extortion against the family of millionaire Rowland Schaefer, Camille Brown, 31, was arrested after she demanded that the family fork up the cash to keep her quiet.                                                                    Camille Brown

The family’s former housekeeper’s daughter contacted the Schaefers by email in September and claimed that she had ‘derogatory’ information about them. Unless the family complied with her demands,  she threatened to sell embarrassing information to the highest bidding media outlet, according to Florida state police.

The successful jewelry chain Claire’s has become a shopping mall staple over the past couple decades with its glittering floor-to-ceiling racks of cheap jewelry and ads for ear piercings that beckon to young girls at more than 3,000 locations worldwide. Schaefer founded it in 1973 and sold it in 2007 for $3.1 billion. The retailer boasts that it has pierced more than 80 million ears over the last 25 years.

The Schaefer family immediately notified the Florida Department of Law Enforcement of the attempted blackmail, after the family was approached by Brown.

Investigators contacted Brown and pretended to be representatives of the Schaefer family. They agreed to pay Brown $3 million and set up a meeting Tuesday in Boynton Beach, Florida, to discuss the money transfer. Brown showed up at the meeting and she was hand-cuffed on the spot, thrown in the back of a police car and carted off to Palm Beach County Jail, where she remained on Wednesday morning.

Thank you to Daily Online Mail UK for this story.

More Billionaires Sign On To Give Their Money Away

Eleven more of Bill Gates and Warren Buffetts peers have persuaded to promise to give away half of their wealth, including tech luminaries Gordon Moore and Reed Hastings.

The 11 will join the Giving Pledge, a campaign Gates and Buffett launched in 2010 to try to kick-start a new era of American philanthropy in which tycoons start making donations earlier in their lives, while they can still be involved in choosing how to spend it.
There are now more than 125 Familes that have pledged to give the majority of their wealth to Philanthropy.
See Who Has Joined The Giving Pledge Here

See The Wealthiest People In Each State

With 425 billionaires, the United States contains over a third of the total number worldwide and a study by Wealth-X also included every ultra-high-net worth individual (UHNWI) with a fortune of over $30 million in the country.

Looking at the 60,280 UNHWI's in the U.S. worth $8.28 trillion, Wealth-X found them spread across the 50 states and in most cases living close to the company or firm which they founded or were the CEO of.

The comprehensive list doesn't reflect the combined numbers of billionaires of each state though, which accounts for Nebraska, which has only two billionaires, placing higher in the list than New York, which according to Forbes Magazine has 71.  Check Out The List Here

"LaGarde List" Exposed

Monthly magazine HOT DOC managed the impossible: To get what it seems to be the content of the long-missing and infamous Lagarde-list containing the names of 2,059 Greeks who had an account in the HSBC bank, Geneva, Switzerland. More than 2,000 excel-files expose the names of bank account holders. HOT DOC does not expose the amounts deposited n each account, but just names and professions.

To See The Entire List Click Here and Scroll To Bottom of Page

Billionaire Icahn Buys 10% of NetFlix

Billionaire investor and activist shareholder Carl Icahn has acquired a 10 percent stake in Netflix, according to a Wednesday filing with the SEC. The value of the 5.5 million shares is about $169 million. Icahn Capital believes that Netflix is undervalued and positioned for expansion both in the U.S. and overseas, according to the filing.

Billionaire Uses $33 Million And Tries To Buy A State Law 

Billionaire Matty Moroun spent more than $33 million trying to convince voters to amend the Michigan constitution in the name of democracy, but in the end, voters saw through his cynical campaign and recognized that the only one who would benefit from the proposed amendment would be Moroun himself.

Michiganders soundly defeated Proposal 6, which would have made it harder for the state to proceed with plans for a new international bridge between the U.S. and Canada just two miles away from the 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge, which is privately owned by — you guessed it — Matty Moroun. The proposal....Read More Here

Billionaire Geffan Sets Record With Penthouse Purchase

Media mogul billionaire David Geffen has bought a 12,000-square foot Central Park penthouse for a record breaking $54 Million, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

The Dreamworks co-founder, worth $5.6 billion by Forbes’ most recent estimate, purchased the 785 Fifth Ave apartment from Denise Rich, the shoe heiress-turned-songwriter who recently renounced American citizenship.  Rich had been asking $65 million since she listed the coop-mansion in January. Geffen’s saved 17% discount off of the asking price.

At $54 million, the sale represents the highest price ever paid for a coop in New York City — and most likely the U.S. The sale tops a record-breaking sale in May in which two side-by-side duplex apartments at 740 Park Ave sold for $52.5 million from Oaktree Capital Management billionaire Howard Marks and his wife.

The penthouse which occupies the top two floors of Fifth Avenue’s white-glove Parc Cinq cooperative, overlooks Central Park. It currently has seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, three kitchens, a wood-paneled library with wet bar and a staff quarters, though he reportedly plans to renovate. The master bedroom suite has a movie projector theater, a fireplace, and his-and-hers bathroom suites. Additional features include a recording studio, an exercise room with a sauna and adjoining “hair salon,” and a private rooftop garden.

Thank you to Forbes.com for this story.

The Five Largest Landowners In The United States

1. John Malone - The cable tycoon has 2.2 million acres stretching from Wyoming to Maine. One of his crown jewels is the Bell Ranch, a 290,100-acre cattle empire.

2. Ted Turner - The media magnate has 2 million acres in Nebraska, New Mexico and other states. He is a strong advocate of wildlife conservation.

3. The Emmerson Family - This low-profile family holds 1.8 million acres through Sierra Pacific Industries, the nation's second largest lumber producer.

4. Brad Kelley - The reclusive billionaire, who drives a pick-up truck and made his money from discount cigarettes, owns about 1.5 million acres and uses much of it for cattle ranching.

5. The Irving Family - The Canadian forestry family behind J.D. Irving Inc. owns 1.2 million acres in Maine and other locations. This year alone, J.D. Irving will plant 30 million seedlings.

Thank you to - Land Report 100

The Rich Got Even Richer In 2012

The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2012, adding $241 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 100 wealthiest individuals.

The aggregate net worth of the world’s top moguls stood at $1.9 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the index. Retail and telecommunications fortunes surged about 20 percent on average during the year. Of the 100 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2012, only 16 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.  See Billionaires Worth

Billionaire Warren Buffett Spreads His Wealth

Billionaire Warren Buffett revealed the donations he has given away in the last 7 months today. Buffett, who is Berkshire's chairman and CEO, made donations of Class B shares to four unnamed charities and three individuals between September and December.

The biggest gift reported was 172,375 shares worth $16.6 million given to a nonprofit.

The gifts are in addition to the 22.4 million Class B Berkshire shares Buffett gave to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the four Buffett family foundations that are slated to eventually distribute most of his fortune.

Buffett  plans to eventually donate all of his shares of Berkshire stock, worth more than $51 billion, to charities.

For Buffett's And Other Billionaire Addresses Go Here

The Two Richest Men In The World Partner For Hunger

It was announced today, the richest man in the world, Mexico's Carlos Slim, and the second richest man, US Billionaire Bill Gates, have partnered to help end hunger.

In a  joint statement released his week by the  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation,  Gates and Slim said they planned to use their foundations to promote research and the development of agricultural technology to increase farmers’ productivity and reduce hunger among the world’s poor people. Under a new post that he titled  “Mexico, Carlos Slim, and Me,”  Gates tells his readers that he is excited about his visit to Mexico this week for a series of events with Carlos Slim,  “whom I’ve enjoyed getting to know for his business insights – but also because of some of the innovative approaches he’s taking to philanthropy.”  To read more about this ground-breaking partnership, we encourage you to read Forbes.com

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