Madoff confinement won’t fix real estate woes

June 29, 2009 05:37PM

As Bernard Madoff heads off to prison to serve a 150-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, he will give up his penthouse at 133 East 64th Street. That leaves his wife Ruth searching for a new place to live, and she has had trouble finding landlords willing to take her on as a tenant, the New York Post reported today. The proceeds of the Upper East Side co-op sale will go toward paying back the victims of his crimes. When Madoff’s bond was originally put up in December, the co-op was valued at $7 million, but as the housing market continues its downward plunge, Madoff’s victims may find themselves losing out.

Ronald Gold, president of Goldappraisal.com and past president of the New York City chapter of the American Society of Appraisers, told The Real Deal in April that the apartment is probably worth between $4.2 million and $6 million. But Madoff’s other real estate, including a 1.2-acre beachfront home in Montauk, may be worth more than its appraised value, brokers said.

But even as scandal may send the value of Madoff’s real estate shooting up, his victims have taken a hit on their properties.

Marisa Noel Brown and Matthew Brown, who lost money with Madoff, put their 12 East 78th Street townhouse on the market in late May. Another Madoff victim, James Marsden, sold his Wainscott home for about $11.2 million in May. Brokers told The Real Deal in April that sales due to Madoff losses were starting to heat up in certain buildings.

Real estate professionals, including Larry Silverstein and Robert K. Futterman, also lost money with Madoff. Howard Lorber, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman, is on the Madoff victim list, Vanity Fair recently reported. TRD