The Real Deal New York

The lawyer behind the massive Madoff settlement just bought an $8M co-op

William Zabel snagged a unit at 10 Gracie Square
By Meenal Vamburkar | October 31, 2018 02:30PM

From left: William Zabel, 10 Gracie Square, Bernie Madoff (Credit: Getty Images and Corcoran)

The attorney whose work paved the way for the $7.2 billion Bernie Madoff settlement has snagged a new apartment in the city.

William Zabel and his wife Deborah Miller Zabel bought a unit at 10 Gracie Square for $7.9 million, according to records filed with New York City’s Department of Finance. The seller is the Royal Norwegian Consulate General.

Corcoran’s Cathy Franklin, Alexis Bodenheimer and Marion Smith had the listing. The brokers and Zabel didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

The unit hit the market in April asking $6.9 million. The pre-war co-op has five bedrooms and two staff bedrooms. The apartment also has 11-foot ceilings and three wood-burning fireplaces.

The building, built in 1930, stands 15 stories tall and has 43 units. One unit currently on the market is asking $12.8 million.

In 2010, Zabel was behind the $7.2 billion settlement between the federal government and the Madoff bankruptcy trustee on behalf of his client, Jeffry M. Picower. The settlement concluded the trustee’s case against the estate of Picower, a Madoff investor who died in 2009. Madoff, who admitted running a giant Ponzi scheme, is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison.

Zabel is known for representing wealthy individuals with issues including tax planning and succession planning. His areas of practice include estate planning, charitable foundations and family law. He also worked on the landmark 1967 civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, which led to the federal ban on race-based prohibitions on marriage.