There’s one thing you can say for Hassan Nemazee, the Iranian-American investment banker who plead guilty to a $292 million bank fraud: he certainly knew how to spend it.
Nemazee certainly spared no expense when it came to his 15-room terraced duplex apartment on the 14th and 15th floors of 770 Park Avenue. Twenty-eight windows span three exposures, and the co-op has a 29-foot living room overlooking Park Avenue and a 20-foot living room adjacent (both with wood burning fireplaces and herringbone wood floors, of course). When the U.S. Marshals listed it for $28 million last March, it was the highest-priced forfeited asset that they’d ever put up for sale.
So why doesn’t anyone want it? The apartment, which was listed with Sotheby’s broker Anne V. Corey until this August, took a series of price cuts before the Feds clearly became, well, fed up with how things were going. The spectacular spread (five bedrooms, all with en-suite baths, plus two staff rooms and a staff bathroom) has just been re-listed for $19.5 million with Brown Harris Stevens broker John Burger.
Certainly, a scandal can bring an apartment’s price down, but come on! The duplex was associated with financial fraud, not some bloodbath. Moreover, Nemazee funneled his ill-gotten gains into primarily two areas—his lifestyle and political contributions—and this was the best house that gobs of money from a very successful scam could buy. It’s way better than Bernie Madoff’s place, which sold for $8 million (and Madoff’s place had an address on East 64th Street).
Most likely though, the U.S. Marshals were so stoked about snatching the biggest asset of all time that they asked for more than they could get—a $20 million sale of another high-floor duplex in 2007 is the building’s highwater mark—and the listing languished. After all, the two Tribeca lofts that Nemazee had purchased for his children sold swiftly following his conviction, for $2.4 million and $3.1 million.
But $19.5 million certainly seems do-able. When Nemazee’s wife Sheila was trying to delay her eviction for the Park Avenue pad in 2010, her lawyer told the judge that there was a $20 million offer on the table. Certainly the place could fetch that much or more now? In fact, we might even go so far as to say that $19.5 million is a steal.