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from Jennifer Gould – New York Post.
This place is gonna need a really good cleaning.
The mystery buyer who snapped up Jeffrey Epstein’s posh Upper East Side mansion for a bargain $51 million is a former Goldman Sachs executive who is moving to New York from London and plans to live in the house with his wife.
Michael D. Daffey bought the seven-story, 40-room property at 9 E. 71st St. at far below its original $88 million asking price — and is determined to make sure not a trace of its twisted former owner remains.
“They are planning a complete makeover, physically and spiritually,” a source said.
The Australia native recently retired from the major financial firm after spending the past year as Goldman’s global markets chairman in charge of remodeling trade in Europe after Brexit — and also after making a killing in bitcoin.
“Mr. Daffey had never previously been in the home nor ever met its owner, but he is a big believer in New York’s future and will take the other side of all the people who say the city’s best days may be in the past,” said Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Daffey.
Top brokers tell The Post the price is a steal, considering that any similar Manhattan property that did not have a connection to one of America’s most twisted sex criminals could have easily fetched $100 million.
“I think it is half off,” said top broker Dolly Lenz, who had been among those trying to sell the property. “It is 28,000 square feet. That’s less than $4,000 a foot for the most magnificent mansion on the best block, just off Fifth Avenue. It’s the very best in New York.”
Even such a deal didn’t tempt many who could afford that price range.
“We offered it to a lot of people who said, ‘We don’t want to go near that place,’” Lenz said. “Fancy international people who are always in for a deal said, ‘No way.’”
Sources say none of Epstein’s old possessions are in the house.
“The house was totally empty,” a source said. “There was no creepy weird stuff in it at all.”
Another source said Daffey bought it with cash and a bridge loan.
Adam Modlin, of the Modlin Group, repped both Daffey and the Epstein estate as broker.
Lenz thought Daffey made a good property decision to buy.
“I think he made a smart move, however, it will be a long time before people forget it was a place were children were abused,” she said. “But he’s betting on it long-term. That’s what some people do.”
The money is going straight to a Jeffrey Epstein victims restitution fund, which is controlled by Epstein’s estate.
In 2019, Epstein was found dead in his prison cell awaiting trial for sex crimes in the abuse of girls as young as 14. Epstein pleaded not guilty. During an FBI raid, federal agents found child sex abuse images in the mansion’s safe. The 40-room home is one of the city’s biggest.
Epstein and his alleged partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, infamously entertained the rich, royal and powerful at the home, which was wired to secretly record its guests.
Some who stayed overnight included Britain’s Prince Andrew. The mansion was previously owned by an Epstein client, Victoria’s Secret owner Les Wexner.
The sale was halted by an asset freeze request made last month in the US Virgin Islands by more than two dozen alleged victims and Denise George, the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands, after the Epstein victims compensation program said it would halt compensation offers over funding concerns.
A judge overruled the request. The fund has so far received more than 150 applications from alleged victims since it launched last June, paying out $55 million so far to an undisclosed number of victims, according to reports.