NYC – Where criminals store their wealth?

From the NYT:

Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate

On the 74th floor of the Time Warner Center, Condominium 74B was purchased in 2010 for $15.65 million by a secretive entity called 25CC ST74B L.L.C. It traces to the family of Vitaly Malkin, a former Russian senator and banker who was barred from entering Canada because of suspected connections to organized crime.

Last fall, another shell company bought a condo down the hall for $21.4 million from a Greek businessman named Dimitrios Contominas, who was arrested a year ago as part of a corruption sweep in Greece.

A few floors down are three condos owned by another shell company, Columbus Skyline L.L.C., which belongs to the family of a Chinese businessman and contractor named Wang Wenliang. His construction company was found housing workers in New Jersey in hazardous, unsanitary conditions.

Many of the owners represent a cross-section of American wealth: chief executives and celebrities, doctors and lawyers, technology entrepreneurs and Wall Street traders.

But The Times also found a growing proportion of wealthy foreigners, at least 16 of whom have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies. The cases range from housing and environmental violations to financial fraud. Four owners have been arrested, and another four have been the subject of fines or penalties for illegal activities.

The foreign owners have included government officials and close associates of officials from Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, China, Kazakhstan and Mexico.

They have been able to make these multimillion-dollar purchases with few questions asked because of United States laws that foster the movement of largely untraceable money through shell companies.

Vast sums are flowing unchecked around the world as never before — whether motivated by corruption, tax avoidance or investment strategy, and enabled by an ever-more-borderless economy and a proliferation of ways to move and hide assets.

About $8 billion is spent each year for New York City residences that cost more than $5 million each, more than triple the amount of a decade ago, according to the website PropertyShark. Just over half of those sales last year were to shell companies.

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42 Responses to NYC – Where criminals store their wealth?

  1. grim says:

    From the Bergen Dispatch:

    The 10 Most Dangerous Places In New Jersey

    1. City of Asbury Park
    2. City of Atlantic City
    3. City of Newark
    4. City of Bridgeton
    5. Township of Irvington
    6. City of Woodbury
    7. City of Trenton
    8. City of Orange
    9. City of Paterson
    10. Borough of Lindenwold

  2. chicagofinance says:

    Dean Smith < Vigoda…..sorry clot

  3. Essex says:

    Hunters and other gun owners would be allowed to use silencers under a bill filed in the Illinois legislature.
    The Belleville News-Democrat reports the measure would lift a restriction prohibiting the use of silencer for those with a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card.
    The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Brandon Phelps. The Democrat from Harrisburg says gun owners want silencers to avoid hearing loss. Phelps acknowledges not everyone is going to support the use of the noise-reducing devices.
    Mark Walsh of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence says about 1,000 die annually in the state from gunshots and allowing silencers “is a bad policy.”
    A similar measure has been filed in the Senate.
    – See more at:

  4. Fast Eddie says:

    I gain nothing by posting these links other than having some type of fiduciary responsibility to warn others ahead of time. I saw these two yesterday. I’ll spare you the details because what’s the point of describing the endless problems. Stench, rot, decay, neglect are the usual suspects. If layout and room size doesn’t kill a house, the assault on the senses will certainly finish the job. All at price tags that bleed tears of desperation:

  5. 30 year realtor says:

    Fast Eddie, there was a totally renovated ranch on a large lot in Wash Twp sold at sheriff sale on Friday for $425,000. Also at that sale was a beat up ranch in Woodcliff Lake on a half acre plus and it sold for $450,000.

    If you want an extraordinary deal you need to take extraordinary measures.

  6. Fast Eddie says:

    If you want an extraordinary deal you need to take extraordinary measures.

    So then we are in agreement that this is anything but a normal market.

  7. 30 year realtor says:

    Eddie, this is my 35th year in the business and this market is quite normal. Prices are stable. There is financing available. The number of transactions is typical. My statement has nothing to do with the current state of the market.

  8. homeboken says:

    What if I don’t need anything extraordinary? What if I just want an ordinary deal at a fair price, that doesn’t need $100,000 worth of structure repairs just to make it liveable for the next 20 years? I guess, I should be willing to part with 3/4 of a million to make that happen right?

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    This is not normal. You have 35 years in the business and I’m a two time house owner with 20 years experience. I’ve experienced normal. A family member bought a 3700 sq. ft, newly built, brick CHC in a tier one town in BC with a “6” handle just before the scam years of the last decade. I have two other family members that bought houses without the having to deal with multiple bids in mere minutes. That was normal. I shopped around and had two or three to choose from when I bought both of my houses. That was normal.

    When I walk into a $500,000 house, it appears to be nothing but sh1t with too many problems. When I walk into a $700,000 house, it appears to be nothing but sh1t with too many problems. I don’t want to have to settle because of someone else’s financial mistake or to be chained to an unwanted step-child. This market may be normal for you but it’s not normal for a reasonable buyer.

  10. Fast Eddie says:


    You’ll pay 3/4 of a million dollars because some former hair shampooer with menopausal tendencies will tell you that the price is warranted. Forget about the property taxes, that’s simply a distraction. Besides, your salary is only going to increase and you can refinance into a lower rate.

  11. Grim says:

    $100k Reno? That’s essentially a brand new house.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    And if these renovated and/or houses with much potential are selling for 425K or 450K, why would I be willing to buy them for 650K? If 450K is the new benchmark for a beat up ranch on a half acre in Woodcliff Lake, then I’ll pay 500K. The seller makes 50K, I get what I want and everybody is happy. That’s what I call a reasonable and extraordinary offer.

  13. 30 year realtor says:

    There is no denying that there are some awfully bad houses out there with incorrect pricing.

  14. 30 year realtor says:

    There is also no denying that a house in a better neighborhood of Washington Twp with 2000 GLA and good condition will sell for over $550,000. The same house in Woodcliff Lake is going to sell for about $700,000.

    The houses in good shape sell for more than you are willing to part with and the ones in lousy condition sit on the market so you can ridicule them.

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    The houses in good shape sell for more than you are willing to part with

    Try me.

  16. DuckVader says:

    Fast Eddie,

    I would agree with you that there are people trying to sell houses at an unreasonable price. In the same way, if you go to a used car lot or plumb the online used car sites, there are beaters being sold for a price I wouldn’t even consider.

    But you make it sound as if every house being sold over the past 3 years is being sold, or has sold, at an unreasonable price. Is this what you are trying to say? 100% of all houses sold or being sold are at unreasonable prices? You post all these “bad” listings. These listings exist regardless of what state the housing market is in. But you post them as part of confirmation bias.

  17. Liquor Luge says:

    I just can’t understand the self flagellation of continuing to search in a market that’s so badly broken. It’s a waste of time, and time is money.

  18. Liquor Luge says:

    Have to agree with above; getting a good deal in this market is extraordinary and requires extraordinary measures.

    Were I looking in this market, I’d just draw up 150k of cashier’s checks in 5k increments and park myself at sheriff sales every week.

  19. 1987 Condo says:

    Nothing has changed in 10 years..I did same as Gary 2003-2006, I needed $200k more to move to a house in a better town, 1 more bdr and 1 more garage. On top of that each house needed about $100k to renovate as apparently only people with 1970’s appliances sell in northern NJ!

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    Have to agree with above; getting a good deal in this market is extraordinary and requires extraordinary measures.

    Fair enough. So, this is the new normal. I guess that means the real estate industry is entering the buggy whip stage.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    I just came from 4 open houses. I know it’s a waste of time but might as well take a ride and kill a couple of hours for sh1ts and giggles. I won’t even bother with the details, you know the routine. It’s either huge black spots on hardwood floors from the dog p1ss seeping through the carpet to nauseating baths and kitchens to some other infliction that invokes gag reflex.

    This was the only one with real charm and it was immaculate:

    It was very difficult getting in and out of the driveway since it’s on a main road. I mean, Woodcliff Avenue is literally running against the house. If it was set back, we might have considered it. But, the place was spotless!

  22. Fast Eddie says:

    By the way, the charming house I posted above sold for $999,000 in May, 2007. It’s listed at $669,900 currently. Again, the number of folks underwater is absolutely staggering! I suspect rates will be staying at this current level for a long, long time.

  23. Essex says:

    We just went out today and saw this gem:

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    23 – Link doesn’t work?

  25. Essex says:

    26 Pine Ave,
    Madison, NJ 07940
    3 beds 3 baths 1,900 sqft

    Asking $619,000

    Lots of charm. Some smaller rooms.
    Smaller kitchen. “Vintage” windows….

  26. Fast Eddie says:

    It’s a good looking home – appears to be buttoned up nicely. It probably needs another 500 sq. ft. to make a play. The issue in a quaint older home is that the bedrooms are small with no closets. Even the one we saw today in the link above. They have a huge extension but 2 of 3 bedrooms are teeny.

  27. Essex says:

    26. There were a few flaws. One was the area. Kind of a few blocks near a corporate development and the Jet’s training center. Not terrible. But meh. The walls were plaster and some needed attention. I liked the vintage vibe, but it lacked a family room and the bedrooms were tiny. So the quest shall continue.

  28. Liquor Luge says:

    SX, you really want to live in Florham Park?

    All of Morris Co sucks. You get Hunterdon commute times, Bergen prices, Sussex skools and Essex attitude.

  29. Liquor Luge says:

    BTW, Mountain Lakes HS is full of mobster kids and trailer trash.

  30. Liquor Luge says:

    Gary, I love you, but you should attempt to obtain a life.

    The hours you spend on looking at the 21st century equivalent of slave hovels are hours you can’t get back.

  31. Liquor Luge says:

    I went to UNC because of a guy I never met, Dean Smith. He reminded me of my dad.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that so many of my expectations of life- sports, business, family, whatever- were shaped by this person I didn’t ever meet.

  32. Liquor Luge says:

    Few things in my life have been more pleasurable than standing in Carmichael Auditorium, losing my hearing and watching Dook, Wake, UVa and the turtles put to the sword.

  33. WickedOrange says:

    Inaccurate Zillow ‘Zestimates’ a source of conflict over home prices

  34. leftwing says:

    22. Don’t know how to link specifically to a sold but here’s someone that had a real come to jesus over the holidays. Merry Christmas.,-74.399146,40.713086,-74.420089_rect/15_zm/?view=map

    27 Van Houton, look at the sold history

  35. Liquor Luge says:

    When you come to Jesus, the first thing you learn is that Jesus thinks you s^ck.

  36. leftwing says:

    33 zillow

    Truly hope the day comes when some jackass quotes a ‘zestimate’ to me when I’m selling. Totally justifiable to toss him down the driveway.

    God help us if the populace is basing their buy decisions on a canned website estimate program. They get what they deserve.

  37. leftwing says:

    Maybe clot. Just wish he let me keep my rib.

    Then every vapid, vacuous housewife wouldn’t be driving values based on proximity to the Short Hills mall and a school district that allegedly allows abdication of parental responsibility while getting bailed out when their fleshless social xray ass should be working retail there to support their overleveraged lifestyle.

    May actually hit it off with JC then.

  38. Liquor Luge says:

    So the Grammys make you watch 45 minutes of shit to get five minutes of real music.

  39. [17] What he said.

    I just can’t understand the self flagellation of continuing to search in a market that’s so badly broken. It’s a waste of time, and time is money.

  40. I think the real problem with the NJ RE market is that it’s almost 100% in New Jersey.

  41. If I really, really, wanted to move back to NJ (and I don’t), I would pick a town and put my boots on the ground there and go door-to-door approaching off-market properties. There are people who are thinking about selling, just get them past the thinking stage. That said, the property taxes and the declining NY salary base would make me averse to putting down any roots there. Plus I’m almost old.

  42. dc minutemen says:

    I can`t read the most part o text, is site down?

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