Who is Simon Halabi and what was he convicted of? Billionaire property tycoon and entrepreneur

SIMON Halabi, the Syrian-born British businessman was once worth an estimated £3billion.

But the property tycoon was convicted of a violent rape in France in 1998.

Simon Halabi with his estranged wife Urte in 2006
Desmond O'Neill

Who is Simon Halabi?

Halabi’s wealth initially stemmed from his father, a Syrian businessman who backed his son in his early ventures but made a sizeable fortune with his property portfolio.

He was ranked the 14th richest person in Britain in the Sunday Times Rich List 2007.

But just three years later he was declared bankrupt in the High Court.

His chain of Esporta gyms went into administration, costing him at least £120million.

Simon and Urte at a ball in London in November 2007
Desmond O'Neill

He sold his one-third stake in the Shard development for £30m when six months earlier it had been valued at over £130m.

In June 2009 his property companies defaulted on $1.9bn of bonds which had been secured on nine London properties which had fallen in value by up to 50 percent due to the credit crunch.

On April 1, 2010 he was declared bankrupt.

He is married to Urte Halabi but they are estranged.

They had two sons, Samuel and Jacob but Samuel died in a pool accident in France in August 2003.

What was he convicted of?

He was convicted of a violent rape in 1998 in France under the name Mohammed Halabi.

Halabi was given a three year prison sentence suspended for five and was put on the French sex offenders list, despite this he was able to travel the world fraudulently – by not declaring any arrests or convictions – by using his British passport and his birth name Simon.

Halabi’s rape conviction relates to an attack on a woman in her early twenties who was trapped inside his French home.

According to the police records he “slapped, punched and attempted to strangle” her before grabbing her hair and dragging the woman to his bed.

He then “threatened her with death” if she reported the attack.

 

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