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Mar 10, 2017 12:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Ira Rennert Loses Appeal, Ordered To Pay $213.2 Million For Scheme That Funded Sagaponack Estate

The Rennert estate in Sagaponack. PRESS FILE
Mar 14, 2017 12:34 PM

A federal appeals court has ordered billionaire Ira Rennert to pay a $213.2 million judgment, upholding a previous jury decision that found him liable for pilfering almost $120 million from his ailing mining company to help fund construction of his 63-acre estate in Sagaponack.

The ruling on Wednesday, March 8, by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a September 2015 judgment ordering Mr. Rennert, 82, and his New York City-based holding company The Renco Group Inc. to pay $213.2 million to plaintiff Lee Buchwald, a trustee of the failed Magnesium Corporation of America, or MagCorp.

According to Mr. Buchwald, Mr. Rennert took money from the ailing MagCorp, which is now defunct, to help build his Sagaponack waterfront estate in the late 1990s. The property is now valued at $248 million, according to 2016 Southampton Town tax information.

Mr. Rennert paid $11 million for the land in Sagaponack in 1997, and the compound he built there, which he named “Fair Field,” is one of the largest private homes in the nation.

After the 2015 ruling, Mr. Rennert appealed, challenging whether a jury trial was indeed allowed in the original proceedings, as well as concerns over various trial rulings that led to what he claimed was a compromised verdict.

Last Wednesday, the appeals court stood by Mr. Buchwald’s various claims against Mr. Rennert, including fraudulent conveyance, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment, and affirmed that Mr. Rennert was liable to pay the $213.2 million, which accumulated interest over time.

Lawyers for Mr. Rennert did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Mr. Rennert controls one of the nation’s largest privately held industrial empires, and his personal fortune is estimated to be $6.5 billion, according to Forbes figures.

The buildings on Mr. Rennert’s Daniels Lane property total more than 110,000 square feet and include a 72,853-square-foot main house with 21 bedrooms. A 10,000-square-foot “playhouse” sits adjacent to the main house and contains a squash court, two bowling alleys, an exercise room, lounge, billiards room, playroom, game room and outdoor terrace.

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Can I have some?
By Mouthampton (339), Southampton on Mar 10, 17 1:48 PM
I Rennert knew that he was going to live this long, he should have taken better care of himself.
By pw herman (655), southampton on Mar 10, 17 4:27 PM
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
By Arnold Timer (263), Sag Harbor on Mar 10, 17 6:08 PM
And none of this is criminal?:(
By Toma Noku (567), Southampton on Mar 10, 17 7:15 PM
Amazing property
By Ditch Bum (282), Water Mill on Mar 10, 17 7:46 PM
Vain attempt to disguise a resort hotel as a "residence".
By Mr. Z (9287), North Sea on Mar 10, 17 11:03 PM
great place for a homeless shelter or affordable housing.
By HB Proud (686), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 8:46 AM
So, Ira Rennert dies. (A nation mourns.) His monumental property remains zoned as "single family residential". Rennert's heirs decline to pay the property taxes (under the current zoning.) Sagaponack then has the choice of having a "tax sale" on a conference center that can be used for nothing other than a single family residence - - - or of changing the zoning to ensure the continuation of revenue ($1 million annually in property taxes plus the avoidance of the policing costs it would assume ...more
By highhatsize (3290), East Quogue on Mar 11, 17 2:59 PM
Does anyone have ANY FACTUAL EVIDENCE that this residence has been used as a conference center or commercial enterprise? Don't you think that the Village of Sagaponack would challenge any such non-residential uses, if they were IN FACT happening?

FACTS please -- no idle Peyton Place gossip and speculation . . .
By PBR (4803), Southampton on Mar 11, 17 3:55 PM
to PBR:

Quote:

"Does anyone have ANY FACTUAL EVIDENCE that this residence has been used as a conference center or commercial enterprise?"
--------------------------------------------------

No, nor did I claim that it is so currently being used. Although, to answer the question, "Don't you think that the Village of Sagaponack would challenge any such non-residential uses, if they were IN FACT happening?" - - - No, I don't., the reason being the $1 million annual property ...more
By highhatsize (3290), East Quogue on Mar 11, 17 4:24 PM
Still think a good place for a homeless shelter or affordable housing. I am sure the village billionaires want to take care of people.
By HB Proud (686), Hampton Bays on Mar 11, 17 6:12 PM
A thief is a thief, weather large or small sums. Will never spend jail time, too connected. He raped and pillaged that company and employees lost a lot.
Bigger crime, bigger sentence [ eye for a eye]...
By knitter (837), Southampton on Mar 12, 17 7:21 PM
surly there will be no shortage of people willing to buy such an amazing place if It was ever to go up for sale.

Maybe It could be the North East Mar a lago President Trump could easily afford It.
By Ditch Bum (282), Water Mill on Mar 13, 17 8:24 AM
to Ditch Bum:

Quote:

'surly there will be no shortage of people willing to buy such an amazing place if It was ever to go up for sale.

Maybe It could be the North East Mar a lago President Trump could easily afford It.'
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dumb is forever.

Mar-a-Lago is a sumptuous family residence, as it was designed to be. The Rennert manse is a conference center, as it was designed to ...more
By highhatsize (3290), East Quogue on Mar 18, 17 8:51 PM