$30M penthouse buyer tied to FDIC scam

By Adam Pincus | March 05, 2009 01:20PM

The purchaser of a $30 million duplex penthouse at 145 Hudson Street in Tribeca pleaded guilty in 1997 to defrauding the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Company of $1.4 million.

The buyer, William Duker, was sentenced in 1997 to 33 months in prison and fined $7,500 for overbilling the FDIC and the Resolution Trust Company. He also paid $2.58 million covering criminal restitution and civil damages.

Duker, now a private investor living in upstate New York, said he purchased the Hudson Street penthouse as an investment and not as a personal residence. He said the four-bedroom apartment, which was at least $4.5 million cheaper than its price disclosed last fall, was a good value.

“I think its uniqueness sets it apart from what is happening in the market,” he said.

Duker bought the 7,500-square-foot unit at the Skyloft Penthouse from the developer, Stanley Scott’s 145 Hudson Street Associates. He went into contract August 2008 and closed February 11, according to city records published today.

The 14-story, 1929 commercial building at the corner of Hudson and Hubert streets, was newly converted into high-end condominiums.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission ordered the penthouse demolished after finding it was constructed too tall. The penthouse was substantially rebuilt by December 2007.

Duker’s Manhattan law firm Duker & Barrett was contracted by the FDIC and the RTC in 1990 to conduct legal work related to the 1980s savings and loan crisis, and for 26 months ending in 1993 he overbilled the agencies by $1.4 million, the government said.