| Edmond Safra |
(Financier, Businessman, billionaire, banker)
|Born||6 August 1932|
|Died||3 December 1999 (Age 67)|
Cause of death
|Founder of||Hermitage Capital Management|
|Victim of||premature death|
|Interest of||Martin Armstrong|
Billionaire banker who died in a suspicious fire in Monaco
Edmond J. Safra was a Lebanese Brazilian banker who continued the family tradition of banking in Syria, Lebanon, Brazil and Switzerland. He was married to Lily Watkins from 1976 until his death. He died in a fire that attracted wide media interest. His death made Bill Browder majority shareholder of Hermitage Capital Management. Dominick Dunne, who investigated the case, was told that two bullets were found in his body. The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation continues to support educational, religious, medical, cultural, and humanitarian causes and organizations.
In December 1999, Safra and nurse Vivian Torrente were suffocated by fumes in a fire deliberately lit at the billionaire's Monaco home, where he apparently felt so safe that he did not have his Mossad trained bodyguards stay the night.
Another bodyguard and nurse, American Ted Maher, who was sharing the night shift with Torrente at the time, was arrested under suspicion of starting the fire, and was convicted of the crime in 2002 by the Monaco Court. He claims that he was attacked by two masked men and, unable to figure out how to trigger the Safra's complex security system, started the fire in an attempt to trigger the system. The prosecution argued he was attempting to carry out a daring rescue, and thus increase his standing in the Safra family's eyes, but lost control of the fire unintentionally.
- Monaco Tribunal Decision, December, 2002.