It's been a wild time here in California this past week. From the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks where 12 innocent people lost their lives to the wildfires raging in Northern and Southern California, it seems like the Golden State can't catch a breath. Thank goodness there are billionaires (and in this case multi millionaires) to distract us. In this edition of the Billionaire Roundup, we're taking a page from the gospel of Mr. Rogers: "look for the helpers." So, in no particular order, we're looking at one Los Angeles man who is reported to be a billionaire who is delivering supplies to Malibu and at Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth and the foundation they've set up to help victims and communities affected by the wildfires. We've also got a Russian billionaire and the heap of trouble he's in and Mark Zuckerberg's problem with Apple and a surprising move by a billionaire politician. Buckle up, this is the latest edition of the Billionaire Roundup.
Zuckerberg Tells Staff To Only Use Android Phones
IDK why this amuses me, but it does. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is butt hurt over something Apple CEO Tim Cook said. Earlier this year when Facebook was under fire for the Cambridge Analytica scandal—remember when 87 million Facebook profiles were compromised for political reasons? Cook was asked what advice he'd give Zuckerberg. He replied: "I wouldn't be in this situation." He went on to say that Apple, unlike Facebook, doesn't "traffic in your personal life." He also said that "privacy to us (Apple) is a human right. It is a civil liberty."
Reportedly, Cook's comments infuriated Zuckerberg. He then ordered his management team to use Android phones exclusively, telling them that "the operating system has far more users than Apple."
Look For The Helpers: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth lost their Malibu home in the devastating Woolsey Fire that ripped through Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and devastated Malibu. If they were super upset and angry about it, that would be understandable. But they aren't. They got out. They got their animals out (and they have a lot of them including mini horses and pigs). Miley and Liam have donated $500,000 to the Malibu Foundation through Miley's charity The Happy Hippy Foundation.
A representative for Miley said: "Miley and Liam lost their home but are very grateful to be safe along with their animals! Their community and state are very special to them and they want to give back to the place that has created so many beautiful memories for themselves and others,' a representative for Cyrus said on Tuesday. These funds will be used for those in financial need, emergency relief assistance, community rebuilding, wildfire prevention and climate change resilience."
Billionaire Russian Oligarch Charged In Art Fraud In Monaco
Recently we told you about Dmitry Rybolovlev being detained for questioning in Monaco in relation to a corruption case. Rybolovlev is a fertilizer magnate but is most well known for his art savvy and his expensive divorce. He formerly owned Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, the most expensive piece of art to ever sell in an auction, fetching a whopping $450.3 million. Rybolovlev, who bought the painting four years earlier for $127.5 million, made a hefty profit. Rybolovlev was questioned in relation to the role he played in attempting to influence Monaco's law enforcement investigators in a long-running dispute with Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier. Rybolovlev alleges Bouvier conned him out of $1 billion by inflating the price of 38 pieces of art he bought over a decade. Rybolovlev is suing Bouvier in Monaco, Singapore and Switzerland. Bouvier has denied wrongdoing.
Well, now we can report that Rybolovlev has been charged in connection with the corruption investigation. He was charged on November 7th. He was detained overnight and released. Reportedly, he has returned to Moscow. He denies any wrongdoing.
Look For The Helpers: Wine Billionaire Floats Aid To Malibu
Malibu has been ravaged by fires. So, one local businessman whom the Los Angeles Times reports is a billionaire (we cannot back that claim up), loaded up his 143-foot yacht with supplies and headed to Malibu. The Leight Star belongs to Howard Leight who together with his son owns the Malibu Rocky Oaks winery. His yacht is worth tens of millions of dollars. Leight spent Friday and Saturday fighting off the fires at his winery and his home. When he was done, he wanted to give back.
The Leight Star was stocked with 3,000 bottles of water, 100 gallons of fuel, snacks, dog food, shovels, and a whole lot of beer. Smaller boats were tied behind the yacht to offload supplies. Surfers paddled their surfboards out to help unload the supplies.
So far, the Woolsey fire has burned more than 98,000 acres and more than 500 homes and 57,000 homes are still threatened. The fire is as large as the city of Denver. It is 57% contained as of this writing.
Illinois' Billionaire Governor Elect Will Not Take A Salary
J.B. Pritzker won the governor's seat in Illinois in the recent elections. He spent a record $171.5 million of his own $3.4 billion fortune on his winning campaign. He just announced that he will forgo his state salary. Illinois' state government's annual spending is nearly $38.5 billion. By comparison the $177,412 annual salary the governor receives is a pittance. With Illinois sitting on $7.5 billion in unpaid bills, refusing a salary sends a clear message to voters and lawmakers. Pritzker means business.