The Real Deal Los Angeles

Dustin Hoffman was an investor in Paul Manafort’s son-in-law’s botched spec house project

Actor and his son invested $3M in failed development
March 30, 2017 09:00AM

Dustin Hoffman and a rendering of the spec home Hofai wanted to build at 1550 Blue Jay Way

Dustin Hoffman and his son Jacob invested $3 million in an ill-fated spec house project headed by Jeffrey Yohai, the son-in-law of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Hoffmans made the investment in June 2015 through an entity called DJ Blue Jay Way. No record shows that they have been repaid, the Times said.

Yohai filed for bankruptcy protection for the Bird Streets property and three others in December, on the heels of a lawsuit that accused him of running a Ponzi scheme in New York. The bankruptcy filing stayed a trustee’s sale that was scheduled for November.

Yohai, who planned to replace an existing home on the site with a new $30 million mansion, withdrew the Hoffmans’ money  without their “prior knowledge or approval,” despite a guarantee that he would not spend certain funds without their permission, according to the bankruptcy documents .

Meanwhile, Manafort is now the subject of an FBI investigation on whether any of his income came from corrupt sources behind pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians. He’s a key player in the investigation of Trump associates suspected of knowing or colluding in Russia’s alleged meddling in the November presidential election. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen