Thursday, July 25, 2013

UPDATE: Steven Cohen

Investigation, shmestigation! Indictment? Bah!

Notoriously secretive hedge fund fat cat Steve Cohen refuses to let a pesky little investigation by The Feds—or a $616 million settlement—drag him down or put the brakes on a monumental spending spree. Last year the multi-billionaire allegedly spent around $120 million on a quartet of bronze sculptures by Henri Matisse and in March (2013) the conspicuous consumer shelled out more than $150 million to acquire a storied Picasso painting from casino tycoon Steve Wynn.

Ludicrously expensive art is hardly, however, the only thing Mister Cohen likes to acquire; Property gossips like Your Mama also know him to be a seasoned real estate baller. In December (2012) Mister Cohen shelled out $38.8 million for a 10,000 square foot townhouse-type condo in New York City's far West Village and, just this month, he forked over another $24.3 million for a 9,600 square foot triplex maisonette just four short blocks to the north and two blocks east. Presumably Mister Cohen et famille will use the triplex as a pied-a-terre until renovations are complete on the townhouse.

Looming criminal charges for securities and wire fraud faced by Mister Cohen sensationally successful SAC Capital* also didn't stop the famously profligate financier from spending big on a prime, ocean front estate on East Hampton's fashionable and freakishly pricey Further Lane.

In late March, citing a source with insider information, the Old Gray Lady herself reported that Mister Cohen had reached an agreement to pay $60 million for a 6.5 acre ocean front estate with tennis court, swimming pool, detached two-car garage, and a 10,000 square foot three-story residence fitted and kitted with, according to listing details (via The New York Times), "High ceilings, antique oak and limestone floors, barn-style double-height family room, media room, large oceanview master suite plus six additional bedrooms."

Well, butter beans, dontcha know that we've received a covert communique from our own insider—let's call her Debbie Doesthehamptons—who snitched to Your Mama that word on the swanky real estate street in the hoity-toity Hamptons is that there were at least two parties who bid on the clearly coveted estate and, as a result, the property actually sold—as in the sale price recorded with the Suffolk County land records—for $62,500,000, $2.5 million more than asking. Bam!

The deluxe digs were reported in The New York Times to have previously been owned by investment banker Robert B. McKeon who killed himself last September (2012) in his home in Darien, CT, and property records reveal Mister Cohen's new Further Lane estate is flanked by a pair of equally substantial estates. To the west is an ocean front estate owned by Johnson & Johnson heir James "Jimmie" Johnson, the father of two-time Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and social commentator Jamie Johnson, and to the east there's the multi-winged sprawler on about 18 acres that's now owned by landscape architect Andrew Gordon who, after a contentious legal battle, inherited it from his hard drinking but very rich man-friend, deceased financier Christopher H. Browne.

Clearly Mister Cohen and, by extension, his second wife, Alexandra, are serious real estate ballers and as such their property portfolio overflows with half a dozen (or more) high-cost and high-maintenance residences including a 2.1 acre, land-locked estate on Further Lane estate that they picked up in the spring of 2007 for just over $18 million. That's right, Mister Cohen now owns two Further Lane estates. Listing details from the time of the purchase indicate the shingled, multi-gambreled cottage has 9 bedrooms and 9 full and 2 half bathrooms in about 9,000 square feet. While it's not ocean front—it sits behind the much more grand ocean front estate of another hedge funder, James Chanos—it does have access to the beach by way of a semi-private path. We have no inside intel on what the Cohen couple plan to do with this property.

In New York City, in addition to their two recently acquired West Village residences, Mister and Missus Cohen own a 9,000-ish square foot high floor duplex at the One Beacon Court complex in Midtown that they snatched up in 2005 for about $24,000,000 and pushed on the open market a few months ago with an astronomical $115 million price tag. And let's not forget, puppies, their 35,000-ish square foot mega-mansion on 14 manicured acres in Greenwich, CT that was bought in June 1998 for $14,800,000 (above) or the 4.5 acre estate next door they scooped up in June 2006 for $5,000,000.

Told y'all he's a baller. And make no mistake, children, even if the U.S. government shuts down Mister Cohen's money minting hedge fund, he and the missus prolly ain't gonna be clippin' coupons or skimping on swanky vacations. Your Mama imagines that, quite to the contrary, no matter what happens to Mister Cohen and his fund he'll manage to retain a substantial private fortune that will most certainly allow him to own and maintain his current portfolio in perpetuity. But then again what do we know?

*The United States filed the expected and hotly anticipated 41-page indictment against SAC Capital earlier today that, when all is said and done, Time magazine speculated could effectively end Mister Cohen's illustrious and lucrative career. Mister Cohen has denied any charges of wrongdoing, natch, and most reports indicate the multi-billionaire will not likely be personally charged. Even if he was to be charged his lawyers let the government know that if he is charged he would plead The Fifth, so...

aerial photos (East Hampton and Greenwich): Bing

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