Ponzi schemer’s Manhattan condo sells

Ex-attorney Scott Rothstein had forfeited the unit to the U.S. government

Jan.January 06, 2012 01:30 PM

Convicted Ponzi schemer and disgraced South Florida attorney Scott Rothstein’s two-bedroom condominium at One Beacon Court sold yesterday, according to the listing, although details on who picked up the pad were not immediately available.

Rothstein and his wife, Kim, purchased the unit at 151 East 58th Street between Third and Lexington avenues for $5.95 million in 2008. But in late 2009, federal prosecutors indicted the Fort Lauderdale lawyer for bilking investors of $1.2 billion. He ultimately pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is currently serving a 50-year prison term.

As part of the criminal proceedings, the apartment was forfeited to the U.S. government, along with at least two Florida homes, millions of dollars in cash and campaign contributions, his guitar collection and stakes in various businesses, according to court documents.

The government put the condo on the market for $5.4 million in late April. Sabrina Saltiel, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, handled the listing. She declined to discuss the sale, which has not yet been filed publicly with the city.

Rothstein had some notable neighbors at the 105-unit tower, which was developed by Vornado Realty Trust and designed by architect Cesar Pelli. Pop star Beyonce Knowles, NBC newsman Brian Williams, baseball star Johnny Damon and another fraudster attorney, Marc Dreier, have also purchased units there.

The 1,512-square-foot condo’s features include electronic shades, oversized closet space and climate-controlled zones, the listing said. “An elegant entry foyer leads to an open living/dining room with spectacular views through floor to ceiling windows,” it said.

Rothstein bought the unit from Jerry Francesco and his wife, Lucille, who sued Vornado when Lucille slipped and fell in the One Beacon Court courtyard, fracturing her wrist, according to a 2009 New York Times article.

Tina Knowles, the mother of pop singer Beyonce, recently sold her apartment down the hall from Rothstein to move into a higher-up unit that her daughter owns, as The Real Deal reported.

Also known as the Bloomberg Tower, the 800-foot building houses the offices of Bloomberg LP on its lower floors.

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