Mysterious Bal Harbour residents from Russia have been identified as the buyers of a vacant seven-acre lot in Boca Raton owned by golf legend Greg Norman.
The fair-haired Australian may be known on the links as the Great White Shark, but he was more like a minnow in this real-estate deal that saw him unload a prime property at the fancy Le Lac neighborhood for one-fourth what he hoped to get.
Norman got $5.6 million. At least, that’s according to public records.
According to the same records, Norman also agreed to loan $2 million interest-free to the buyers for three months to make sure the deal would go through.
The deed shows a single buyer named Elena Temkin, but the private-mortgage papers also show a man’s name, Roman Temkin.
So happens that the husband-and-wife team, who may be connected to a Russian investment group that plans to build $700 million worth of condos in the Surfside area, was at the heart of a fraud investigation in their native Russia last year, several Russian newspapers reported.
Some reports say the Temkins were arrested and accused of helping Russian Senator Alexander Sabadash hide $31 million in taxes from the government.
The Temkins’ status at home and in the United States is unclear. But we know Roman, 42, and Elena, 45, are renting a 12th-floor apartment in Bal Harbour.
The couple’s plan for Norman’s property has yet to be determined. Neither Norman’s manager nor the Temkins returned calls for comment.
Usually an astute businessman, Norman took a South Seas bath on the property: He lost at least $1.4 million on the sale since he bought it nine years ago for $7 million, and he lost several hundred thousand in his failed attempt to develop.
Norman listed the lot in 2013 for $25 million. By 2014, it was $11 million less, until two weeks ago.
On the market
Another sports figure is trying to make a mint on his homestead despite a steep price cut.
Two-time Super Bowl champ Asante Samuel, a former New England Patriots cornerback, just slashed the price of his 18,000-square-foot Southwest Ranches mansion to $9.5 million.
Last year, 5300 Ascot Terrace was offered for $13 million. Samuel bought it for $2.3 million in 2008 and spent another $2 million on the building.
The property comes with a 140,000-gallon swimming pool with a waterfall and a swim-in Playboy mansion-style grotto with two underwater televisions. A second floor includes a rock slide, fire pit and Jacuzzi.
University of Miami football legend Warren Sapp had a ball on the weekend of June 28 when he was welcomed with open arms at a UM Sports Hall of Fame fundraising fishing tournament — hours after he was accused of beating and biting his girlfriend, and stomping on her face.
“The news came after we all drove to Islamorada for the tournament,” said Hall of Fame boss John Routh.
“And we had invited Warren long before the charges were filed. We look at him like any family looks at its members. He was great and very cordial.”
Sapp has denied any wrongdoing, but it’s the second time this year he’s been charged in an incident involving a woman. On Super Bowl weekend, he was arrested during an argument with a hooker outside his hotel room.