Fraudster’s Connecticut manse sells for $7M after over four years

Wisteria Hill in New Canaan, Conn.

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Wisteria Hill, the 23-room Georgian mansion in New Canaan, Conn. that was home to disgraced former Cendant chairman Walter Forbes, has been sold to a young New York City family for $7 million — less than half of what it was asking when it originally hit the market four-and-a-half years ago, the New York Times reported. Forbes, who was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison in 2007 for carrying out a massive securities fraud scheme in the 1990s, had only recently regained control of the mansion from his ex-wife, Caren, who filed for divorce in 2009. Forbes had sold the property to his wife in 1999 for $10, and the subsequent divorce filing prompted suspicion from federal prosecutors that the property transfer and the marriage split were an attempt by the couple to prevent the government from seizing their assets. A judge later ordered the Connecticut property, along with another in Rhode Island, transferred back to Walter so that they could be seized by the government. The seven-bedroom, six-bathroom home has a tennis court, guesthouse and terraced gardens. The final asking price on the listing by Carol Hollyday and Rita Kirby of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty was $7.9 million, and Kirby stressed that market conditions, rather than the tinge of scandal, were why it took so long to sell. [NYT]

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