Billionaires and Bankers Tangle in Luxury Real Estate Suit


Just because you're rich and do business with a famously reputable Swiss bank doesn't mean you won't get filched in a real estate scam.

Yes, it turns out, the rich are like us - easily suckered into buying homes at inflated bubble prices and then, when the Great Recession hits and the real estate market tanks, going down in flames. Just on a grander scale.

That's why 3,000 well-heeled investors are suing Credit Suisse and real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield for $24 billion in damages, alleging that the bank defrauded them in a vast "loan-to-own" scandal involving luxury properties in mountain resorts in Montana, Nevada and Idaho.

As in Detroit, Florida and other locales hammered by the real estate crisis, many of these swanky outposts have gone bust, leaving investors less rich than before as the sub-prime mess moves up the value chain.

So let's all shed a tear for these folks and their investments gone awry: the property owners say they were hurt because Credit Suisse, among other alleged crimes, promised amenities such as golf courses, ski runs and lifts, restaurants, pools and trails - and failed to deliver, as the Wall Street Journal writes.