Disgraced financier Bernie Madoff’s former Montauk home sold for $14 million earlier this year, according to Suffolk County deed transfers just made available.
The bungalow-style house at 216 Old Montauk Highway was seized by the federal government after Madoff’s arrest in December 2008 and then sold to help compensate victims of his massive Ponzi scheme.
After several attempts to unload it, it’s traded again. A limited liability company called Froggy Dunes purchased the property on March 20, 2023. Bespoke Real Estate and Tim Davis of the Corcoran Group had the co-exclusive.
The seller was listed as 216 Old Montauk Highway LLC, but it widely reported that Steven Roth, a real estate investor and the founder of Vornado Realty Trust, the largest commercial landlord in New York City, and his wife, theater producer Daryl Roth, were the last owners.
The Roths bought the property for $9.41 million in 2009, which was $660,000 more than the asking price at the time. The proceeds from that sale went into a victim compensation fund to bring some relief to the 24,000 people who lost money in Madoff’s scam.
The couple then underook a major renovation of the 3,000-square-foot home, which Forbes once quoted a realtor at the time as saying was “a 1980s dump set in a fabulous location.”
Located just west of downtown Montauk and near Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, the house sits on a 1.5-acre property with 180 feet of beach frontage and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The residence stands just 150 feet from the beach, which cannot be replicated because it is no longer allowed under current zoning laws.
The Roths hired Thierry Despont, the renowned architect who has worked for Bill Gates and Oscar de la Renta, to oversee the extensive renovation. He eliminated the 1980s feel when Madoff and his wife, Ruth, got the keys in 1982. They bought the property two years earlier for $250,000.
Some features of the house include a two-story great room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling, a stone fireplace and a curved sitting area, which overlooks the ocean through oversized glass doors. A new free-form gunite pool, cabana and wrap-around decking are located to the east of a covered patio.
The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house includes a primary bedroom suite on the second floor with a private oceanfront deck., radiant heated Travertine bathroom floors, a spa-like onyx shower, and a separate balcony with an outdoor shower.
The Roths first put the house on the market in 2018 for $21 million. In late 2020, the home was listed, again, for $17 million, but then taken off the market before Bespoke and Davis teamed up to sell it last year, listing it for $22.5 million.
The price was eventually lowered to $16.5 million.
As recounted in a recently-released Netflix docuseries, MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street, Madoff never visited the Montauk house again after the $65 billion investment scam came to light. He spent six months on house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse before pleading guilty.
Madoff died in 2021 at the age of 82 while serving a 150-year federal prison sentence for running the largest Ponzi scheme in history.