July 29, 2009 · 2:08 pm
Turns out Ruthie Madoff may not be permitted to buy that one bedroom in Spanish Harlem (or whatever the hell you want to call it – the area that isn’t the East Side) after all: Madoff Trustee Irving Picard is suing the bitch for the $2.3 million the feds let her keep, claiming (d’oh) that she was in on the scheme the whole time. I’m all for it – leave her homeless and on the street, but if she wants a step up from that and maybe has some of Bernie’s old watches she can sell, or Madoff Investments paraphernalia, I’d suggest she look into what I used to call Pelenopor but which a reader has beautifully named NoPo – North of Post Road, of course. We got stuff here at prices that’ll knock your socks off, Ruthie. And if you can’t swing that, there’s always Chickahominy.
UPDATE: Here’s more on the suit from The Wall Street Journal. The Trustee’s looking for $44 million, claiming that regardless of whether Ruth knew about or participated in the scam, she benefited from it and lived “a life of luxury” on the proceeds. This theory should cause Walter, Monica and all the filly(ie)s sleepless nights because the Noel clan is, at best, in no better position than Ruth Madoff. Just like her, they say that they knew nothing and who can blame them for living large? But if living a life f luxury on stolen proceeds is the test for restitution, do Round Hill cottages, villa’s in Mustique and $30 million yachts qualify? Why yes, I believe they do. Oh uh, Walt. Go, Irving!
July 22, 2009 · 9:09 am
Madoff trustee Picard in settlement talks with Fairfield Greenwich Group. As noted earlier today, Noel’s Fairfield Sentry Fund was dissolved yesterdayin the British Virgin Island, Attorney Boies is just one of dozens of lawyers clawing their way up the road to Walter’s house and, all in all, things look bleak for Walter and the Fabulous Five. Will they discover that “tomorrow is another day”? Will they have to leave Tara? Tune in, as the world turns.
June 18, 2009 · 10:01 am
Coming soon to your neighborhood, the best darn little magazine saleswomen in the world!
Ain't they sweet, see 'em walking down your street
May 12, 2009 · 9:08 am
Andre will pay the mortgage, right, Andre? Andre?
Victoria Gotti, the Don’s daughter, is losing her mansion to foreclosure.
April 29, 2009 · 3:29 pm
Word around town is that the Fabulous Noel Girls are bemoaning their fate and weeping that “we’re going to get sued and lose all our money”. The Observer reports that Marisa’s town house, purchased for $13.5 million and carrying a $9 million mortgage, is up for sale, gutted, for $11 million. Good luck with that, girl.
Says one agent:
“I’m trying to get one of my clients to buy it. They apparently did all the demolition but can’t fix it up, or don’t want to,” the broker said. “I told my guy he should offer them $8 million—because it’s still a million dollars to fix this up.” An $8 million sale would mean the couple would lose at least $5.5 million on the house. “It’s literally the kind of thing that inspired me to call people who aren’t in the market for real estate, because people say, ‘If you hear of a really desperate situation, call me.’”
That guy sounds like someone who should be working with Frankie and me.
April 13, 2009 · 11:51 am
Waiting for Lorne Greene
Having been forced to sell off his prized horses (thank God Walt was on hand to stop the Fabulous Five from being loaded onto the knacker’s van), Fairfield Greenwich Group partner Jeffey Tucker is now offering to sell the farm itself. Funny thing, I’d have thought the more appropriate expression here would be “buying the farm” but those FGG guys always did have a strange way of doing things.
UPDATE: Okay, I was trying to spare Walt’s feelings but no one was getting the Lorne Greene reference so Walt, avert your eyes.
April 2, 2009 · 5:27 am
Manhattan co-op prices drop 22%, volume down 48%. Just when these poor kids need every dime they have to pay lawyers fees, fines and disgruntled victims, here comes the mean old real estate market to drive them further underwater. Jesus weeps.
March 11, 2009 · 10:16 pm
(A reader just complained about this post being mean – I dug it up and think it’s still funny so here it is again – sorry, reader)
Earlier this week we reported that Kathy Fuld has stopped buying $30,000 of bedsheets a month from Greenwich Avenue’s own Lynnens. Now, courtesy of Page Six we can tell you equally startling news: Bob Jaffe, Bernie Madoff’s Palm Beach bagman, has stopped seeing his manicurist and is doing his nails himself. So naturally, in view of these stirring tales of self-sacrifice by the financially afflicted, we wondered how the Noel family was bearing up. A quick trip up to 175 Round Hill Road revealed the answer: with the help of caddy boys from Round Hill Club, Monica and the Fabulous Five are standing firm – they’re fit and rarin’ to go. Here’s one of the daughters now, getting a mudpack and a manicure. Does she look worried?
Thank you, Adolfo. Don't forget Mom's oats.
March 3, 2009 · 11:17 am
Judging from their family Christmas cards the Noels are an eco-conscious crowd, what with their African safaris and the bucolic vacations on Mustique. So they’ve probably been staying awake nights worrying about how they’ll be able to continue that mission while occupying “alternative quarters”. Relax, Monica, the warden’s taking care of it – the big new idea: penitentiaries are going green. See you round the compost pile!
February 13, 2009 · 11:23 am
Good news! Walt’s been soooo concerned about all his friends and how they’re doing, so he’s really, really pleased to pass along this tip from Popular Science: Cat food won’t kill you! Bon appetit,
Monica and the Fabulous Five
January 19, 2009 · 2:30 pm
Walt's going to the bank and then coming to get me!
Woman found living in tent in Swiss woods. Imposter took her place in Greenwich for 12 years! “We had to put her away, unfortunately,” said Penelope Strong, Noel family publicist. “Monica got old, fat and frumpy and just didn’t fit the image we were developing for the Fabulous Five. Still,” she sniffed, “I don’t suppose it matters now.”
January 14, 2009 · 5:46 pm
That charming wife we quoted yesterday notwithstanding, the economic collapse may actually prolong marriages that are based on hubby’s earnings – the unhappy couples are realizing that they can’t afford to divorce. Aw, that’s so sweet. Andy and Debby Madoff will reunite, the Fabulous Noel Girls will keep their husbands, and all will be right with the world, until the pending charges are resolved, anyway.
January 14, 2009 · 10:31 am
"Say it isn't so!"
Rumors are going around that the Fabulous Five’s husbands were a bunch of philandering oafs and that the beautiful Noel girls were known for horsing around a bit themselves. Shocking, but no doubt most disturbing to their fans is the rumor that Marisa Noel dated Patrick Ewing. She’s a Nets fan, for heaven’s sake!
Well here, from an impeccable source, is the true story, with some details edited out to protect anonymity.
My parents’ friends … also told us about Marisa dating a black man (not Patrick Ewing), as well as a Jewish man. The black man thing did not last long, but the Jewish man thing did, and Mrs. N oel forced her to break up with him. This is what Monica Noel TOLD [her friend, who is Jewish herself]! …. then told my mom the story, shaking her head.
Poor Andy Madoff never had a chance.
January 8, 2009 · 3:27 pm
Britain joins France, Spain, Ireland and Germany in criminal investigations of Madoff funds. If I have the story right, Madoff used Walt both for the Noel access to rich WASPs here in Greenwich and, thanks to the husbands of the Fabulous Noel Girls, introductions to the rich elite of Europe. Criminal investigations in the very countries the not-so fabulous Noel sons-in-law operated might, I say might, turn up things Walter would as soon not see the light.
December 30, 2008 · 3:31 pm
But how can I resist? Business Sheets, in what’s probably an act of copyright infringement but what they’re calling fair use and commentary, has reproduced the long-lost original Vanity Fair article on the girls. You can read it here,as I’m about to. Hurry, before VF’s lawyers (or maybe the Noel’s) make them take it down).
December 30, 2008 · 11:26 am
A commentator alerted me to Blogett’s latest (I was busy working on the post below) attempt to unpack Walter Noel’s and FGG’s “strategy” behind investing with Bernie Madoff. Blogett concludes, as I do, that Walter thought Bernie was front running and just assumed that it was someone other than Walter and his five fabulous girls who were getting hosed.
The documents do suggest, however, that FGG:
- Closed its eyes, shoved its fingers in its ears, and hummed as Madoff made the firm $500 million of fees in the past five years (and more before that).
- Took all the credit for the trading strategy and based its fees on the premise that FGG, not Madoff, was the brains behind the operation. The firm almost always spoke as though it managed its primary Madoff fund, Fairfield Sentry, itself. If Madoff ever came up in FGG’s marketing materials, he was described as a “broker.”
- Knew that the key driver of the fund’s stated returns was NOT the “split-strike conversion strategy” but market timing. The firm never explained, however, how this superb market timing was supposedly executed.
As investigators dig through the FGG wreckage, therefore, one of the key questions will be how partners like Walter Noel, Jeff Tucker, and Andres Piedrahita explained Sentry’s astonishing market-timing ability to themselves and their clients.
If the best answer is “proprietary models,” FGG may well be found to have been negligent in its failure to conduct adequate due diligence. Consistent market timing is extraordinarily difficult, and Madoff’s claim that he could do it when others couldn’t should have set the same alarm-bells clanging at FGG as it did elsewhere.
We suspect that the more likely answer is “We thought he was front-running.” Lots of other folks on Wall Street thought Madoff was front-running, including some major Madoff investors, and, for most folks, this seemed to explain his preternatural timing ability. The trouble for FGG with this explanation is twofold: First, front-running is illegal. Second, the firm doesn’t mention front-running it its fund documents. If FGG did rationalize Madoff’s performance on the suspicion that he was front-running, the firm will likely be exposed to charges of fraud.
FGG itself is almost certainly toast regardless of what investigators find. The legal distinctions will come into play with respect to victims’ ability to go after the personal assets of Noel, Tucker, Piedrahita, et al.
I was confronted a week ago by a red faced, goggle-eyed gentleman who stuck a finger in my face and demanded that I stop saying mean things about his dear, close friends, Walter and Monica. I can’t say I felt remorseful – I thanked him for reading my blog and edged away – but the more we learn about Noel, the less sympathy I feel for him. If that’s possible. My general summation of this sorry spectacle is that it couldn’t have happened to a more-deserving guy.