Thanks to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, CEO’s can no longer look dumb, play dumb, or even be dumb. Book throwing judges are making direct bull’s eye hits with many of the newly fallen Fed Frats including Bernie Ebbers, Kenneth Lay and the colorful Dennis Kozlowski.
So what’s going on with their real estate? I can’t help myself for asking.
WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers:
Widely known for his persnickety penny pitching, it is rumored he even took bottled water away from sweltering Sacramento warehouse workers. Once worth over $1 [tag-ice]billion[/tag-ice], the former high school coach ascribed his success secret to the assembling together of people who were smarter than he.
After being sentenced for book-cooking, he leaves his wife a modest house in Mississippi and $50,000.
Sold- The largest cattle ranch in Canada- $68.5 million
Sold- Mississippi Manse- $7.5 million
The Late Kenneth Lay of Enron:
This was the CEO who took the stand on his own behalf telling jurors "it was difficult to turn off that lifestyle like a spigot."
The gas company exec, nick named "Kenny Boy" by President Bush, often came across to middle classers as anything but charming. However, his unguarded moments of cantankerousness on the stand were almost forgotten after he died in one of his four Colorado properties last July. You can’t force criminal charges on a dead man. (Civil challenges may be another matter).
The Lay’s property located on aptly named Shady Lane and described as a "cottage", sold for $10 million. This smaller 3000 square foot riverfront house had been bought by the Lays in 1991 for $1.95 million.
Spring Street House -sold $5.5 million. Had been bought for $6.1 million
Another Spring Street house bought for $4.82 million – sold for $4.45 million.
A 20,266-square foot parcel on Miner Trail Road bought for $1.65 million -sold for $2.15 million.
Tyco’s Dennis Kozolwski:
Last but not least we have the executive who once described his pay package as "confusing".
But clear-thinking divorcing Wife #2, [tag-tec]Karen Kozolwski[/tag-tec], has fought hard to maintain such properties as the Beaver Creek Manse. This is the giant log cabin located in an exclusive development called Bachelor’s Gulch. Perhaps that subdivison should be renamed Bachelorette’s Gulch.
Bought at $8.5 million it recently sold for $10 million; furnishings sold separately, of course. They fetched another $750,000.
"She may get in line but she’s not getting to the front of the line," says Attorney Charles Stillman.
However, the infamous Manhattan apartment, which it is said Dennis only used for changing his clothes, has also sold. The man who was once one of the highest paid CEO’s in America had paid $17 million for it. Then he spent another $3 million upgrading and $11 million decorating. The question again rises- exactly how do you evenly split a $6000 shower curtain?
"The Endeavor", their yacht, went for $13 million.
But they haven’t had much luck with the Nantucket estate named Sea Rose Farm. It’s still on the market for $23 million. ( I would throw in some extra plantation shutters and a quilt or two and see if that helps).
So now they’ve left it all behind and two of them are back in sparse dormitories, of sorts. That is, if their tiny jail cells get upgraded.