Beverly Hills mansion tied to Ponzi schemer sells for $18M

The 11K sf home had been owned by a division of Woodbridge Properties, whose CEO was sentenced last month for masterminding the $1.2B fraud

Nov.November 25, 2019 12:02 PM
Robert Shapiro and the property at 1357 Laurel Way (Credit: Zillow)
Robert Shapiro and the property at 1357 Laurel Way (Credit: Zillow)

Another mansion that belonged to disgraced Woodbridge Group of Properties CEO Robert Shapiro has sold, this one for $18 million.

The seller of the Beverly Hills mansion was listed as Woodbridge Wealth, one of the many firms created by Shapiro, who was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison last month for masterminding the $1.2 billion fraud.

The property is among many in the Woodbridge portfolio that independent managers — led by Frederick Chin — are now in charge of selling off to recoup money for defrauded investors. Chin was the signatory on the 1357 Laurel Way purchase.

The 11,225-square-foot home is located at 1357 Laurel Way, property records show. The sale price was pegged at $1,604 per square foot.

The buyers were Susan and Dan Gottlieb, prominent conservationists who run the Gottlieb Native Garden at Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The couple also founded G2 Gallery nature and wildlife photography in Venice, which closed in 2017.

The Gottlieb Native Garden
The Gottlieb Native Garden

The entire Laurel Way property encompasses 22,061 square feet. The ultra-modern house was by McLean Design, whose owner, Paul McLean, has designed some of the priciest spec homes in Los Angeles. It features floor-to-ceiling windows, and an L-shaped pool among other features.

In all, more than 7,000 property investors were defrauded over five years until Woodbridge went under in late 2017 amid a wide-reaching federal investigation into the scheme. The investors were all promised high returns, instead, Shapiro and the company bought those properties themselves through a web of legal entities to obscure ownership.

In November 2018, Shapiro agreed to pay a $120 million settlement for running the alleged fraud. He, his wife, and others involved in the scheme will pay a total of $892 million to the SEC to compensate victims.

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