Speculation about fate of another Madoff waterside getaway

Madoff son's Nantucket home could be next on the market

TRD New York /
Nov.November 23, 2009 03:49 PM

The beach house in Montauk found a buyer quickly, and for more than its list price.

Now, as the investigation into the fraud run by Bernard Madoff expands to include his family members, some are wondering what will become of son Mark Madoff’s getaway on Nantucket, a well-heeled resort island off the Massachusetts coast.

The five-bedroom waterfront home is not yet on the market, Nantucket brokers say, though a sale is entirely possible, owing to the increasing amount of trouble Mark seems to be in.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it were listed,” said Gary Winn, a principal with Maury People Sotheby’s International Realty, who has no connection to the Madoffs or the property.

But the house, which Mark bought for $6.5 million in 2008, just months before Bernie’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme was exposed, was being used until recently.

“I know there were people there for parts of this summer, though I don’t know who they were,” Winn said.

Like in Montauk, where Bernie’s home sold for $9.4 million this fall after being listed for $8.75 million to Steven Roth, the chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, Mark’s Nantucket getaway could probably fetch a premium today, even in a downturn.

With five baths and 6,000 square feet, including guest quarters over a garage, according to property records, the house sits on 3.3 acres in the Tom Nevers section, which has some of the island’s newer mansions. Built in 2003, the 6,000-square-foot compound also features a pool and a private beach staircase.

The $6.5 million purchase price “was certainly a good one at that time,” Winn said. “Plus, waterfront has held its value pretty well” even if those houses are off about 10 percent from the 2006 peak. Lower-tier properties, meanwhile, are down 30 percent, he added.

And like in Montauk, notoriety won’t be a problem.

“I don’t think the home would be hurt” by the Madoff name, he said, explaining that the nearby seven-bedroom home of Dennis Kozlowski, the disgraced former Tyco chief executive, routinely receives bids above its $16.45 million list price, said Winn, who is marketing it.

Mark, 45, has not been indicted for a crime. But in October, Irving Picard, the trustee appointed with recouping money that investors lost, sued Mark and other relatives for $198.74 million that was allegedly swiped from Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to pay for homes, vacations and meals.

In his suit, Picard claims that Mark, a trading director at the firm, improperly received $67 million between 2001 and 2008. The suit also claims that Mark borrowed $17 million from the firm since 2000 to buy homes, including the one on Nantucket, and never paid back the loan, according to a statement.

Picard also lashed out at Mark’s negligence.

“Simply put, if the family members had been doing their jobs — honestly and faithfully — the Madoff Ponzi scheme might never have succeeded, or continued for so long,” the statement reads.

Mark’s Nantucket house, whose address is 51 Wanoma Way, is not his first on the island. Previously, he owned a much smaller four-bedroom property at 20 New Lane. That 2,200-square-foot home, which is not on the water, sold for $2.3 million in 2008, according to records.

Marybeth Gibson, the broker with the island firm Congdon and Coleman who represented Mark when he bought his current home, declined to comment for this article but confirmed Mark’s home is not yet being marketed.

Meanwhile, Mark’s attorney, Martin Flumenbaum, of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the white-shoe Manhattan law firm, did not return a request for comment.

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