THE Russian oligarch who sold Harry and Meghan their new £11m mansion has admitted to stealing millions using a “magic pen” scam.
Sergey Grishin, 54, who also owned the famous property used in gangster movie Scarface, admitted to robbing banks in the 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed.
According to Russian media, Grishin has a colourful past and recently split from a "porn webcam model" who he later accused of defrauding him.
But it's his business dealings which have proved most controversial including claiming to have nearly "collapsed" Russia's banking system in the 1990s.
In a taped confession to US authorities, recorded on his private plane, the tycoon painted himself as a “anti-Russian hero” in a bid to land American citizenship, Moscow media reports.
And in one shocking revelation, he explained how he used special-disappearing ink to turn $2m cheques into $250m.
He said: “We come to the bank and ask: 'Please write us a check for $2 million. Just use my pen, please. I love her very much.'
“'No question,' the bank replies. 'Give us your pen.' And he writes a check.”
Grishin says the pen has vanishing ink meaning “you can make the first entry disappear.”
He said: “You now have an official, genuine bank document with a stamp, signature and date.
“All you need is to enter any number you want in the 'amount' field.
“For example, $250 million. And you come to any other bank with this Central Bank check, present it and get money that you have never owned before.”
In his 2018 video confession, Grishin addressed US President Donald Trump directly while claiming he was being hunted by the Russian mafia and the Kremlin.
He said: “I am being persecuted by the Russian criminal world and Russian authorities.
"I want to be safe."
And while oligarch has an estimated fortune of $500m - he started his business career as a humble hot dog and cookie seller in Moscow after leaving university with a degree in Physics.
The tycoon, who has made been married three times, endured a difficult split from his last wife Anna Fedoseeva.
She moved to California with him where he claims he showered her with gifts spending more than $5m on her.
But after marrying in March 2017, they split 11 months later, with Grishin alleging that Anna stole millions from him.
In response, her divorce lawyer claims the oligarch admitted to having a personality disorder where he has "three personalities living ins mind - one of which is called 'Volt'."
The businessman later began dating Ekaterina Loginova who has been described in reports as a "porn webcam model".
However, he later filed a criminal lawsuit against Loginova and a former assistant Svetlana Grachyova accusing them of defrauding him.
Yet, they deny the claims and allege that Grishin threatened to kill with murder, prison and accused them of being lovers, local media in Russia reports.
The Russian millionaire has been thrust into the public spotlight after he sold a mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara to Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle.
According to public records, the pair bought their lavish new £11m home from a limited liability company partly owned by Grishin.
Grishin is no stranger to big real estate deals in Montecito after he owned the sprawling mansion made-famous by the 1983 gangster movie Scarface.
He sold that iconic property, which in the past hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, for £9.3m in 2015.
Harry and Meghan have reportedly taken out a £7.25m mortgage on the nine-bedroom property which was previously listed for £20.6m.
Their huge 14,563-square-foot 'palatial' pad, known as 'The Chateau', was bought by Grishin in 2009 for £19m - however he has struggled to find wealthy buyers able to meet the asking price.
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It was eventually listed again in January, for around £13m and sold to the royal couple for around £2m under that asking price.
According to real estate agents who spoke with the LA Times, the deal was closed in an “off-market” sale in June.
Tax records for the mansion match the limited liability companies previously created by Meghan, it has been reported.