Sanjay Shah, The Unemployed Trader Who Became A $700 Million Exile
When Sanjay Shah lost his job during the financial crisis more than a decade ago, he was one of thousands of mid-level traders suddenly out of work.
Shah didn't take long to get back into the game, setting up his own fund targeting gaps in dividend-tax laws. Within a few years, he charted a spectacular rise from trading-floor obscurity to amassing as much as $700 million and a property portfolio that stretched from Regent's Park in his native London to Dubai. He commanded a 62-foot yacht and booked Drake, Elton John and Jennifer Lopez to play for an autism charity he'd founded.
Fueling his ascent were what he maintains were legal, if ultimately controversial, Cum-Ex trades. Transactions like these exploited legal loopholes across Europe, allowing traders to repeatedly reap dividend tax refunds on a single holding of stock. The deals proved hugely lucrative for those involved -- except, of course, for the governments that paid up billions. German lawmakers have called it the greatest tax heist in history.