Billionaire Israel Englander ‘bilked’ ex-wife out of billions

Billionaire hedge fund manager Israel Englander allegedly “terrorized” his estranged wife and her new gallerist girlfriend in an effort to bilk her of billions in their divorce settlement, the women claim in new court papers.

The 74-year-old Millennium Management co-founder “became enraged” when his wife Caryl Englander, 68, “fell in love” with Swiss gallerist Dominique Levy, 55, — and set out to break up their relationship, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Thursday.

The hedge funder —“one of the world’s richest men” — used his vast wealth to carry out a “years-long campaign of duress” against the two women, having them followed and photographed, hacking their emails and phones and interfering with their family lives, the suit claims.

The Englanders’ 40-year marriage deteriorated in 2016 following Israel’s “repeated unfaithfulness to Caryl,” she and Levy claim in the lawsuit.

When she and Levy fell in love, Israel “set out to terrorize the two women to force a break in their relationship, believing he could intimidate Caryl into ‘waking up’ and coming back to him,” the filing alleges.


Israel Englander.
Israel Englander forced his ex-wife Caryl Englander into a bad divorce settlement, a new suit alleges.
REUTERS

The wealthy investor’s alleged campaign against his wife and her girlfriend began in 2017, the suit says.

He allegedly had the pair “aggressively” followed and surveilled by former cops and private investigators while they were in New York and when they traveled – including during one trip to Italy in August 2017, according to the court papers.

His cronies conducted “near-constant” surveillance of the lovebirds – including accessing their phones and emails, the suit alleges.

Israel “seemed to know exactly where Caryl was going and what she was doing at all times,” the court documents claim.


Caryl Englander
Caryl Englander and girlfriend Dominique Levy claim Israel bullied and terrorized them.
Getty Images

He also allegedly “wanted to punish Caryl and deprive her of her rightful, equitable share of the billions of dollars in marital assets that he and Caryl had built together over the course of their marriage,” the suit states.

Meanwhile, he set out to “destroy” Levy’s gallery by hiring a company to get confidential information from her business and falsely claiming she had carried out tax fraud “to US authorities, seeking to prompt an unwarranted government investigation of her,” the suit alleges.

And Israel tried to ruin Levy’s reputation in the art world by defaming her to senior reps at Christie’s and Sotheby’s – even threatening to stop giving his lucrative business to the auction houses if they continued to work with Levy, the filing claims.


Dominique Levy
Israel allegedly made up bogus tax fraud and child abuse allegations against Levy.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The billionaire had people pose as journalists to try to get “dirt” on Levy from her current and former employees, the suit claims.

And he tried to “get the media to attack Dominique,” with one Bloomberg reporter sending Levy several inquiries referencing confidential business transactions – forcing Levy to hire a media relations specialist, the suit claims.

Israel also brought bogus abuse allegations to child services in New York which showed up at Levy’s door with the NYPD on Sept. 14, 2017, to investigate the treatment of her kids – then 7 and 14, the court papers claim. The agency carried out multiple checks of her children at home and at school making them strip to check for bruises, the filing alleges.

Levy had to hire lawyers and spend thousands defending herself against the “manufactured” accusations she faced both in business and with her children. She was eventually forced to file a lawsuit against the NYPD and New York’s Administration for Children’s Services to protect her family, the suit claims.


Caryl Englander
Caryl wants a judge to overturn the divorce agreement she signed with Israel in 2020.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Israel controlled Caryl’s access to their money by getting her to sign documents without her own lawyer to look them over and sought to isolate her from the family including outing her relationship with Levy to their children and calling the girlfriend a “viper,” the court documents claim.

He also hid the true value of their wealth and promised to leave Caryl and Levy alone if she signed his proposed divorce agreement.

Caryl would sign the agreement in November 2020 against the advice of her friends and lawyers because she “was so traumatized and so desperate for Israel’s intimidation of her and Dominique to stop,” the suit charges.

Israel got “more than 95% of the value of their marital assets, and near total control over the few assets and funds available to Caryl,” the filing claims.

Caryl and Levy are asking a judge to set aside the 2020 divorce agreement.

The case – originally filed publicly as a lawsuit – is now being transferred to matrimonial court where filings are not public.

“In an effort to resolve this as a family matter, the issue is being moved to a matrimonial court,” Caryl’s rep told The Post.

Israel didn’t immediately return requests for comment Thursday.

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