Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Last updated 13 hours ago
Sep 29 2008 | 9:04am ET
The home of former hedge fund manager Michael Lauer, who was found liable for fraud last week, was sold for the minimum bid at a foreclosure auction on Friday.
The 7,328-square-foot mansion in Greenwich, Conn., attracted just one offer during a 10-minute auction held by the Internal Revenue Service Friday from a crowd of about two dozen. Authorities began foreclosure proceedings on the home, which Lauer bought in 1999 for $2.3 million, in 2006, after the hedge fund manager failed to pay his taxes. Lauer claims that he failed to pay because his assets had been frozen due to a 2003 Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against him and his Lancer Management Group cohorts.
The buyer was identified as Mickey Low, a native New Yorker looking to escape his current Scottsdale, Ariz., home.
The lavish mansion, which features four bedrooms, three fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, a pool house and tennis courts, has fallen into disrepair in recent years, with neighbors complaining about rotting wood, chipped paint, overgrown weeds and a musty odor. One neighbor approached Low after the auction and asked, “Are you going to cut the grass now, or what?”
According to the Stamford Advocate, the Lows plan to do much more than that. Low’s wife, Linda, said she is working with an architect to remodel the Dwight Lane digs.
“It’s a very nice property with tremendous potential,” she told the Advocate.
Lauer, who has proclaimed his innocence, was found liable on Wednesday as part of the SEC’s civil case against him, with a federal judge saying his fraud was “egregious, pervasive, premeditated and resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.” Lauer and four others still face criminal conspiracy and wire fraud charges accusing them of using shell companies to inflate the value of the Lancer funds. Lauer could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison if convicted.