A Cosby Mystery

Today, Forbes’ Sara Clemence investigates why Bill Cosby has kept busy lately transferring the ownership of his East 71st townhouse. Ms. Clemence speculates about why the ownership was in Catherine C. Carter’s name, followed by Mr. Cosby alone, next Mr. Cosby and his wife Camille, and most recently, an LLC.

“The deed, however, has been held since 1990 by a Catherine C. Carter, whose Santa Monica address is the same as that for COC Productions, which Cosby’s wife, Camille, heads. That’s not so odd, real estate lawyers say–Carter could be an employee or family friend, holding the property for the the Cosbys so their names would not appear in public records. High-profile people frequently conceal their ownership by buying real estate through trusts or corporations.”

So who is the mysterious Ms. Carter?

Well, she is more than just an employee or family friend. Ms. Carter is Mr. Cosby’s mother-in-law, and had ownership transferred to her name in 1990, according to the New York Law Journal . Three years earlier, Mr. Cosby purchased the $6.2 million brownstone as a surprise gift for his wife, so he put the ownership under Mary E. Waller, his former business partner. Their partnership ended on bad terms, and ownership went to Camille’s mother. Now one mystery is solved.

But a few questions still remain. Is Mr. Cosby just being clever with ownership for tax purposes? Or could he be planning to put it on the market? That remains to be seen.

-Michael Calderone A Cosby Mystery