We guess that when you’re a resort community for Wall Street, as the Hamptons are, having your neighbor’s property seized by the Department of Justice is one of those things that happens every now and again. (See also: Madoff, B., former resident of Montauk and now in Butner federal prison; Manafort, P., former Bridgehampton resident and now believed to be in a Manhattan lockup. The feds just listed Manafort’s Trump Tower condo today for $3.6 million; we assume the Bridgehampton house will be on the market soon.)
Residents of Green Hollow Road in East Hampton are the newest members of the elite club, as the Arc House formerly owned by Jessica Meli, wife of Joseph Meli, a New York businessman who pleaded guilty last year to defrauding investors, is shortly to go on the market. (Story first reported by Bloomberg.) Meli was accused of running a Ponzi scheme, just like Madoff. Here’s what the SEC said:
The SEC alleged that Joseph Meli raised money from investors to fund businesses purportedly created to purchase and resell tickets to such high-demand shows as Adele concerts and the Broadway musical Hamilton. Joseph Meli was criminally charged in a parallel case in which he pled guilty and was sentenced to a 78-month prison sentence. He also was ordered in the parallel criminal case to forfeit over $104 million, including a house in East Hampton, New York, and to pay over $56 million in restitution.
That house is the famous Arc House designed by Maziar Behrooz back in 2010. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about the property, stating the owners wanted to buy in East Hampton so they could more easily go to Europe in retirement. Well, that didn’t last long, as the owners put the place on the market in 2013 asking $5 million.
Despite an interesting interior, with more than 6,000 square feet; a main living space that’s 30 by 60 feet with a 16′ ceiling at the apex; an art gallery space with a custom hanging system; flexible rooms that could be used as bedrooms, a screening room, or an office; and a sunken courtyard, the property didn’t sell until 2015. The price was $3 million, about $500K less than it cost to build.
At the time, we asked the broker who represented the Melis in the deal about the sale. He said that the buyer was “the wife of a successful NYC entrepreneur,” that the couple liked the one-of-a-kind modern structure, and that they weren’t concerned about airport noise.
Given the place’s history, we’ll be very interested to see what the price the DOJ comes up with.