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Prince Jefri Bolkiah

How can anyone burn through a $14.8 billion fortune? Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei says he isn’t sure, said Mark Maremont in The Wall Street Journal, though he stands accused by his brother, the Sultan of Brunei, of doing just that. “I keep asking the lawyers,” Prince Jefri said. “Where did it go?” Attorneys for the sultan say it’s no great mystery what the prince did with the money, which was entrusted to him in his capacity as head of the oil-rich country’s investment agency. Among other things, they say, he acquired a fleet of 1,700 luxury cars, a 180-foot yacht, New York City’s opulent Palace Hotel, and “more than 100 paintings by Picasso, Renoir, Modigliani, and others.” Prince Jefri has agreed to return most of his riches to the sultan, but he is trying to persuade his brother to “let him keep enough money to maintain a more modest version of his prior lifestyle.” It’s only fair, said his lawyer, Philip Douglas. The prince “has had unimaginable wealth all of his life,” said Douglas. “Now he’s going to go and bus tables?”

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