Hotels, Porsches and No Taxes: Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Maddeningly Luxe Lifestyle

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Strauss-Kahn in 2007 before his world collapsed.

Reuters

It’s good to be managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Until you’re caught up in an unsavory sex scandal.

As one of the IMF’s top officials, France’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been riding high for years (largely on the tax dollars from developed countries). Just look at the hotel he stayed at on May 14 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a maid. Strauss-Kahn roomed at the upscale Sofitel in New York City’s Times Square in a suite that cost $3,000 a night and had its own foyer, conference room, living room, marble bathroom and bedroom (with a king-sized bed and feather and down duvet, apparently).

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Yes – the job of international diplomat comes with a lot of things: prestige, power and most definitely perks.

Strauss-Kahn makes an annual tax-free salary of $420,930, plus an annual “scale of living” allowance of $75,350. He reportedly owns a 6-room apartment in an upscale Paris neighborhood, another large apartment in the Place des Vosges neighborhood, a house in Marrakesh and another in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. And according to his contract, he always flies first class when conducting business for the IMF, not to mention having a virtually unlimited expense account.

Because Strauss-Kahn was considered the likely socialist candidate for president in the upcoming French elections, his lavish lifestyle was all over the French media, including pictures of him getting into a Porsche, raising questions of whether he could be a true socialist candidate with the wealth he has garnered.

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While his wife is also wealthy (she’s a former TV presenter worth millions), some IMF officials also reportedly get subsidies for travel as well as housing and education benefits.

And that Air France flight he was pulled off of by authorities? Sources told The New York Post that he has an arrangement with the airline that allows him to board any flight and sit in first class whenever he needs it.

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Update: According to the IMF, Strauss-Kahn does not have an unlimited expense account and not all IMF staffers receive subsidies for travel, housing and education. Non-U.S. staff receive an educational allowance and a home leave allowance, and the IMF’s resident representatives abroad receive housing allowances. The IMF has not paid for Strauss-Kahn’s houses, according to the spokesperson.

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