Deceased Rent-Stabilized Hoarder Allegedly Leaves $18M

An eccentric investor who hoarded expensive clothes, exquisite silverware, and pricey paperweights in a two-bedroom rent-stabilized apartment allegedly left behind $18 million when he died last year.  However, according to court documents, the details of his fortune's whereabouts are buried under piles of paperwork and boxes in his locked-up cluttered apartment.

Despite his wealth, the tenant chose to live in a rent-stabilized apartment on Park Avenue and East 96th Street, where he paid $1,640.85 a month. He lived there for more than 38 years.

The deceased tenant never made a will, complicating any resolution of his finances and their distribution. Last month, the management company filed a petition in Manhattan Surrogate's Court, asking a judge to appoint a public administrator to oversee the administration of the tenant's estate so it could file a lawsuit against the estate in housing court to recoup back rent. On Aug. 26, the widow filed her own petition in the surrogate's court, claiming that her husband's estate was worth $18 million and she is the only beneficiary.

According to the widow, she’s still in the process of cleaning out her husband's home, which is packed with debris, tchotchkes, and boxes of clothes. She still hasn't sorted through her husband's home office, where he kept most of the information on his bank and brokerage accounts.