Ponzi schemer’s East Hampton home seized by feds to hit the market

<em>The Arc House at 50 Green Hollow Road in East Hampton</em>
The Arc House at 50 Green Hollow Road in East Hampton

An unusual East Hampton home that finally found a buyer in 2015 after two years on the market is now poised to list again, albeit under less-than-ideal circumstances.

The Arc House, built in 2010 and designed by Maziar Behrooz, will soon return to the Hamptons’ turbulent luxury home market as the U.S. Department of Justice prepares to list the property as part of its criminal case against admitted felon Joseph Meli, Bloomberg reported.

A federal court filing last week in Manhattan outlines the assets seized from Meli as part of his guilty plea in October 2017 to one count of securities fraud in relation to his involvement in a ticket-reselling scheme involving Broadway plays and other notable events.

At the top of Meli’s asset forfeiture list, which includes items such as a 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo, a Rolex watch and $551,000 in a Citibank account, is a home once owned by his wife, Jessica, at 50 Green Hollow Road in East Hampton. Paul Luciano, a broker at Utopia Real Estate in Flushing named on a U.S. Marshals Service website as handling the sale of the property, did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter, nor did property manager Alexa Hale of Colliers International in Houston.

Known as the Arc House due to its unique architecture, which saw Behrooz draw inspiration from the shape of an airplane hanger, the home first hit the market in 2013 seeking nearly $5 million. Curbed, which at the time noted that the the home looked the “lair of a Bond villain,” subsequently reported on its $3 million sale in 2015 in a deal brokered by Bespoke Real Estate’s James Casale.

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A current listing price for the 6,400-square-foot Arc House is not yet publicly available, although Enzo Morabito, a veteran East End broker at Douglas Elliman, told Bloomberg that $3.2 million seemed like a reasonable sum. “Whoever is going to buy it is going to have to be very, very unique,” he said, noting that the new seller, the U.S. government, shouldn’t affect a potential deal.

The Arc House has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a pool, a flexible layout that has space for an art gallery. It also has a large, 30-by-60-foot living room with 16-foot-high ceilings at its apex. The Marshals Service, which handles the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture program, took control of the Arc House because Jessica Meli used funds from her husband’s ticket-selling scheme to purchase the 2.62-acre property four years ago.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission named Jessica Meli as a relief defendant in a civil case related to the ticket scam. In November, she settled with the regulator and agreed to disgorge $4 million in investor funds as part of the $104 million being sought by the federal government from Meli himself.

Meli was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison last year. In April, his accused accomplice, former sports radio personality Craig Carton, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison after being convicted in November. Earlier this year, Carton reportedly agreed to sell his six-bedroom home in Chester, New Jersey, for roughly $1 million, about half of its initial asking price.

As for Meli, federal prosecutors charged him again in April over his alleged role in another ticket-selling scam involving his cousin.

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show that Meli is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and is not scheduled to be released until February 2024.