BERNIE MADOFF'S STUPID 80s BEACH HOUSE
Our investigation of Bernie Madoff's real estate portfolio continues with a not very thorough examination of his Montauk Long Island beach house. Built in the early 80s, it is every bit as depressing as the one we used in the movie--high ceilings ruined by bad galleries, formica counters, faux-stone fireplace, tacky windows etc., the view being the only real selling point. (By the way, we used a house in Long Island that was so close Queens we could have taken the subway to work--amazing how relatively similar the beach was forty-five minutes out of the city compared to five hours and forty-five minutes out of the city, the usual Hamptons commuting time).
If there's anything sweet to be found in the Madoff tale, it's that this house was purchased a good ten years before the Madoffs entered the billionaire phase of their lives, yet they never sold it and moved up. A little sentimental fact that we put in the movie and which does nothing to alter the perception of Madoff as anything but dreadfully evil. (Though I thought his letter about our movie was sweet--he defended his little brother Peter very nicely and apparently never slapped his son Mark, the one he drove to suicide).
Above is a video shot by a Madoff stalker who drives out to see the house, apparently posing as a buyer. The nice real estate woman shows him/us around and somehow doesn't mind this clearly phony buyer shooting her on his phone. Given my own dark history with pretending to be a buyer in order to see some dead directors house, I can only say: hark the pot calling the kettle black. Note the FBI tags on the lousy leather furniture. Gee, another Madoff victim got their $1800 dollars back.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 8:29 AM