Curiouser and curiouser

Teri Buhl alerts me that our newest Connecticut Lottery winner Brandon Lacoff is not only the failure behind Greenwich’s Beacon Hill, he’s now involved in resurrecting a failed Norwalk development. Want to see a picture of that project? Well here you go. Say, wait a minute, that’s a picture of Beacon Hill! Guess they couldn’t afford a new picture, or they just believe in recycling.

And here’s another curious thing: the winning ticket was sold November 2nd yet no one stepped forward to claim his winnings until yesterday. Although Fudrucker would never admit it, the Lottery Commission ran a bogus billboard campaign asking the winner to appear. When Mssrs. Lacoff et als did show up yesterday they did so accompanied by a lawyer from Long Island who “represented” the boys at the Lottery’s press conference by repeating “no comment, no comment, no comment” all afternoon. Is it possible that the attorney’s vocabulary has shrunk after decades spent representing low-level Mafiosi? Who knows? And who knows if the reason for the lengthy delay in claiming the prize was due to a desire to shield those big bucks from the grasping claws of rapacious creditors? I sure don’t and asked about it by Scuzie, FWIW’s top investigative reporter, Lacoff said this: “no comment”.

UPDATE: Teri points out that Madoff’s Lacoff’s winnings were deposited into a “family trust”. What’s that about, do you suppose?

22 Comments

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22 responses to “Curiouser and curiouser

  1. Good speculation Chris. Why was the family trust set up to claim the ticket? Reads like a tax or debt shelter from something.

  2. Whe need to find out when Putnam Avenue Family Trust was set up. That’s who the check was made out to.

  3. Or making sure that the effort to divide the winnings among family members was done equitably and to make sure the tax liability was shared proportionately as well. Family trusts are great for controlling assets before inheritance, yet transferring ownership without transferring control.

    Check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Living_Partnership

  4. Gregg Skidmore – Belpointe Prez and CIO is a Brunswick grad then
    He tried equity sales for Advest for 1.6 yrs then
    Citigroup owned The Sound Shore Group hires him to manage OPM.
    But doesn’t last long and thinks he can go out on his own. Do do what manage Dad’s money ? His linkedin profile brags he trained for 2000 sailing team Olympics but it’s unclear if he ever made the team. He starts by calling the firm Belray and then does a name change to Belpointe (between 09-11 ?). Wondering if it was to avoid investors or creditors ???

    • Gregg is a teriffic sailor (and a Riverside lad) but I don’t believe he made the Olympic team – nothing wrong with that, as to even get close, losing in matches against the other top sailors in the country, is an honor and a testament to one’s sailing prowess. Can’t vouch for his business acumen because I don’t even know the boy, but he’s a hundred times the sailor I’ll ever be.

  5. Cos Cobber

    Gang, you are looking silly here questioning the family trust structure. Go look at http://www.powerball.com and you will see approx 50% of the winners claim the prize via a trust. Why? To manage taxes and shield the wealth from personal liability among other goals. A trust vehicle is hardly devious, its smart.

    • True, CC, but how many winners were principals in a failed real estate project? I’m not saying that the trust was created to dodge creditors – I have absolutely no knowledge of the situation, including whether Lascoff is even liable for Beacon Hill’s debts. But in this town, not much surprises me. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if a fraudulent conveyance suit is filed. If there’s any skullduggery here, we shouldn’t have to wait long, especially now that Mr. Lascoff’s good fortune is national news. He might even discover never-before-known children, too! : )

  6. Anonymous

    He’s trying to become a 0.75% ‘er.

  7. CC – You’re right on the family trust set up is a typical method to protect assets and avoid future lawsuits when you get sudden cash. But Belpointe isn’t a reputable firm (yet) or has any real size in managing OMP so I think it makes sense to ask questions. And if Team Belpointe doesn’t have any creditor issues then they should come out and comment instead of hiding from reporters.
    Would love to hear from you Gregg, Brandon, or Tim – teribuhl@gmail.com

  8. Sebastian

    Teri Buhl needs to get a life. The NC “drinking issue” was kind of sordid.

  9. Anonymous

    Happy are the car salesmen at certain dealerships in town…or at least soon will be.

  10. burningmadolf

    Why would anyone who won money feel the need to explain anything to anyone else. If it were me I’d tell you to go piss up a rope.

  11. Cos Cobber

    While I find the financial condition of their Beacon Hill of Greenwich a curiosity, it seems like wild conjecture at this point to connect any dots. Its odd enough that three already wealthy or well to do people won the lottery and even stranger that two are ‘wealth advisors.’ Did anyone ask at the press conference “how much of your investment portfolio do you recommend be invested in the lottery and of that portion, how do you allocate between the various games?”

  12. Cos Cobber

    I agree with Burning.

    • Not sure I don’t either, CC, but it’s fun to speculate (no doubt fueled by my jealousy that I didn’t win a gazillion dollars.I’ve really got to give Fudrucker a chance to help me out here – maybe I’ll buy a ticket).

  13. Sanjay bigglesworth

    I wonder if they will use the winnings in the Belpointe marketing material. “Our second fund, Belpointe II, started with a mere $3 in assets and we returned $100 million to our partners (after taxes and fees). We expect to generate like returns in our new funds, Belpointe III and Belpointe IV, which will invest in lottery instruments and ponies.”.

    I’ll wager they have $1B AUM by Christmas.

  14. Anonymous

    Chris, your WaPo link didn’t work for me but I think this is the same AP story. http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/conn-billboard-campaign-seeks-powerball-winner-1.3320934

    I’m with CC and BM, it only makes sense if you get a windfall like that to take your time and research your options prior to notifying the state of your win. Also, everybody else can piss off about how and why I would handle it the way I did. :D

    I am so jealous though, that’s a definite life changer for somebody like me, even if I only ended up with 1/6th of the total after taxes and splitting what was left with the others.

  15. Curious

    Teri/Chris

    Why do you feel a lottery winner owes you or any other annoying reporters any answers? Why is “no comment” not an appropriate answer?

    You guys need to get lives.

    • Curious – they certainly have no obligation to tell anyone anything and certainly not a nosey blogger – in fact, I never asked them to. But when you hold a press conference to celebrate your good fortune and to promote your financial service firm and then put your lawyer on to decline to answer any questions about who you are, I think a little curiosity is in order.

  16. Cos Cobber

    They dont have to answer crap….but they should also appreciate that its a little odd that three wealthy dudes split a single lottery ticket purchased in a crappy area of Stamford and they dont have a funny story to share about it. Again, in the end, they dont have to say anything.

  17. If the daily mail’s unnamed source is correct this could explain a lot about why the Belpointe team wouldn’t answer Q’s at the presser

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2067456/Record-254m-powerball-winners-accused-collecting-fortune-mysterious-client.html

  18. Anonymous

    why is a uk paper doing a better job of reporting this story than anything in greenwich?