According to the WSJ, Raj Rajaratnam’s former colleagues, including Choo Beng Lee, are ratting him out. The man’s going down and his Galleon Fund will be dead by the end of the month, which is a fitting end for a man who once paid Kenny Rogers $4 million to come up to the Round Hill place for a birthday bash and play “The Gambler’ eleven times, non-stop. “Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even”. And all that.
So let’s assume that 557 Round Hill will soon be on the block. Who else might be selling soon? Well, the presence of Choo Beng Lee as a cooperating witness in the broader FBI probe of insider trading is interesting because Mr. Lee once worked for SAC, Steven Cohen’s fund. Jealous competitors have long alleged that Cohen’s success could only come from trading on inside information, an allegation never substantiated. Does Lee have anything that might help prove their case? I have absolutely no idea, but it will be interesting to watch. Cohen’s got something like $45 million tied up in that house of his on Crown Lane which he’ll never get back, but it is certainly worth something. Maybe Jerry Dumas, across the street, will want to expand his land holdings.
And of course, there are always the rumors of another ongoing FBI investigation into mortgage fraud here in Greenwich committed by a certain bank, some of its officers and various developer/builders. These stories make the rounds periodically and nothing has come of them so far, but the latest word on the status of the investigation offers hope to real estate gossip columnists everywhere (or in Greenwich, anyway) that there will soon be grist for the mill. Not that I wish anything bad to happen to these people mind you ….
So we’ll just have to wait and see. My guess is that some large houses will be hitting the market this year, under less than optimum conditions, but that could be for any number of reasons, not just the presence of U.S. Marshals on the front stoop.