Cabbie-Cum-Billionaire Guilty of Terrible Decorating

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Photo: Getty Images

This week New York real-estate tycoon Tamir Sapir pleaded guilty to having a nasty stash in his yacht — specifically, 29 items in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Ugh. Who is this guy? A Georgian cabbie-turned-billionaire (!), Sapir made his money in Russian oil, is worth about $1.4 billion, and owns the $40 million Duke Semans mansion on Fifth Avenue (sigh — doesn't this whole thing just reek of new money? Tsk, tsk). Anyhow, he'll be paying $150,000 in fines, which probably won't leave much of a mark. Here's what was found on his yacht:

• Barstools upholstered in python and anaconda skins.
• Seven carved elephant tusks.
• Hides of jaguars, tigers, and zebras.
• A fully stuffed and mounted lion.
• A cigarette holder made from python skin.
• A cigar box wrapped in elephant hide.
• A zebra-skin-lined children's bed.

Wait — a children's bed lined in actual zebra? What sort of person does your kid become when he was raised gently sleeping atop a bed of fluffy endangered-species skins? Probably the sort of person who goes on to buy $85,000 worth of exotic skins for their yacht. Circle of life, really.

The Crass Menagerie [NYP]