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Vulture Investor Reinvents Himself as Cayman Islands' Biggest Real Estate Owner

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Vulture Investor Reinvents Himself as Cayman Islands' Biggest Real Estate Owner

Using his $5B fortune, billionaire and US tax dodger Ken Dart recently closed deals in the Cayman Islands, bringing his holdings to over 8% of the entire island.

According to Mark VanDevelde, chief executive of Dart’s Cayman-based Dart Enterprises holding company, Dart is becoming less interested in cashing in on distressed foreign debt and more focused on luxury real estate development, Bloomberg reports. Dart has grabbed land in at least 10 other countries for just this purpose.

Most recently Dart demolished an abandoned Marriott on Cayman and replaced it with a 263-room, 62-condo Kimpton Hotel.

Anthony Travers, chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, said Dart’s investments in the island have helped the local economy but wonders where his involvement will lead, saying, “He is starting to control a substantial part of the local economy.”

Local lawmaker Osbourne Bodden was more blunt: “The master plan is indeed to make these islands Dart Islands—make no mistake about that.”

Dart hasn’t been slowed by the attacks. Rather, he’s in the midst of negotiating a massive deal with the government, similar to a $400M deal he made in 2010 to extend his holdings. [Bloomberg]