The priciest penthouse ever sold in Downtown Manhattan is hitting the market amid allegations that the apartment was purchased with funds stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
The Walker Tower penthouse is expected to be listed for $45 million — nearly $6 million short of what the unit sold for in 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported. (At the time, the deal marked the most expensive home sale downtown, but a penthouse at Ian Schrager’s 160 Leroy just went into contract for slightly more, $51 million.) Federal authorities believe that Abu Dhabi-based businessman Khadem Al Qubaisi controls the LLC that owns the penthouse, and that he used money misappropriated from the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB) to make the purchase.
In September, a federal ordered the Justice Department to hold off on seizing other assets in New York and Los Angeles connected to the scheme until a criminal investigation was conducted.
Earlier this year, developer Steve Witkoff and the Justice Department put the Park Lane Hotel up for sale. The deal cut out majority owner Jho Low, who authorities believe illegally diverted funds from 1MDB into real estate. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel