Architecture & Real Estate | May 7, 2022 4:13 pm

A $63.5 Million Los Angeles Mansion Could Be Seized by Federal Prosecutors

It's connected to a bribery scandal in Armenia

Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice seal.
Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Los Angeles’s Holmby Hills neighborhood has a rich history — both figuratively and literally. The likes of Humphrey Bogart, Neil Diamond and Bugsy Siegel have all lived there at various points in time. It’s where you’ll find the Playboy Mansion, and its growth was sparked in part by the presence of UCLA.

And if both fame and infamy are what you’re after, there’s an estate currently on the market for $63.5 million there. Here’s where things get a bit tricky, however: it’s entirely possible that federal prosecutors could end up seizing it. As for why, well, it has to do with a corruption scandal involving a corrupt official in the Armenian government.

An article at the Los Angeles Times has more details on the property and the legal issues surrounding it. As Matt Hamilton and Jack Flemming of the Times phrased it, the Justice Department argued that the property “was purchased in 2011 for $14.4 million with bribes to the family of Gagik Khachatryan.”

Khachatryan served as Armenia’s former minister of finance for a time. In 2009, he began receiving bribes which were used to purchase the property and build a new mansion there. Eventually, the Armenian government learned of Khachatryan’s corruption and began legal action against him. Eventually, his two sons — who were also enmeshed in the bribery scandal — fled the country.

If you are willing to roll the dice on this, the property has a lot to offer, including 33,652 square feet of space. That being said, parts of the mansion are also currently unfinished — so there will be more work to be done on the place. Richard Maslan of Hilton & Hyland, the real estate agency representing the estate, seemed optimistic that a transaction could go through.

“If we receive an offer and both the seller and the Justice Department agree on a sale price, we can still sell it,” Maslan told the Los Angeles Times.