The Real Deal New York

Why this billionaire art dealer is allowed to sell an UES townhouse during a divorce

Judge said David Mugrabi can sell 12 East 82nd St. because an LLC owns it
October 12, 2018 11:00AM

From left: David Mugrabi, 12 East 82nd Street, and Libbie Mugrabi (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has ruled that he cannot block billionaire art-dealer David Mugrabi from selling an Upper East Side townhouse for $72 million while he is going through a divorce.

David is currently in the middle of a bitter divorce battle with his estranged wife Libbie Mugrabi, and she has concerns that he might send their money “south,” according to the New York Post.

However, Justice Douglas Hoffman has said he can’t legally block David from selling the townhouse at 12 East 82nd Street or 50 pieces of art because LLCs technically own the assets.

An LLC funded by David’s father bought the townhouse in 2013 for $15 million, and David and Libbie put $57 million into renovating it over the past five years. Sheila Riesel, David’s attorney, said the home is exempt from selling restrictions because the LLC paid for it, meaning it belongs to a corporate entity. The judge ruled that this applies to art in the family’s summer home in Water Mill as well.

The Mugrabi family is among the biggest collectors of Andy Warhol pieces in the world and have an art portfolio worth an estimated $5 billion.

David and Libbie are due back in court next week. [NYP] – Eddie Small