The Mosman home of international fugitive Michael Menghong Gu has sold for $12 million before it was scheduled to go under the hammer on Saturday.
Belle Property Mosman’s Tim Foote had a $9 million guide but the home sold for $3 million more, topping the 2017 purchase price of $10 million when sold by Charter Hall co-founder Andre Biet and his wife Teresa.
The sale by mortgagee Credit Suisse comes more than three months after Mr Gu fled the country and his property empire iProsperity collapsed with debts mounting to as much as $350 million.
Mr Gu’s whereabouts remains unknown, earning him the moniker the “new Christopher Skase” after the late 1980s tycoon who fled Australia when his business empire collapsed, and remained a fugitive in Majorca, Spain, until he died in 2001.
It is an ignominious end to Mr Gu’s career in Australia, and a sharp turnaround on three years ago when he purchased the striking designer residence when he was feted as one of the biggest players in the federal government’s Significant Investor Visa program in which wealthy foreigners were granted fast-tracked residency visas.
Two years ago iProsperity reportedly controlled about $1.8 billion of real estate in Australia, with major hotel investments that included the Novotel Hotel Melbourne and adjoining Century City Walk shopping centre, a portfolio of Ibis hotels and the Park Regis Hotel in Sydney CBD.
But things started to unravel early this year when iProsperity failed to win regulatory approval to buy the Casino Canberra from gaming mogul Tony Fung, forcing the $32 million deal to fall over.
Since then reports about the 33-year-old tycoon have focussed on his lavish lifestyle as a high-roller gambler at The Star in Sydney and Crown in Melbourne and with a garage of luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Wraith and Lamborghini all while iProsperity spiralled into deep financial trouble.
By July iProsperity was placed in voluntary administration, and the striking Superba Parade residence listed with a $9 million guide last month.
As well as the Credit Suisse mortgage on title, there are five caveats lodged by disgruntled creditors, including the liquidators of iProsperity.