Financier’s Home For Sale at Sheriff’s Auction With AM-Keating
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) _ Pigeons roost under the red-tile eaves and dead cockroaches litter the marble floors of imprisoned financier Charles Keating Jr.’s once-posh home, which is up for sale at a sheriff’s auction.
The two-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot house once was the centerpiece of a walled family compound in this pricey Phoenix neighborhood.
But the former savings and loan executive moved out as his legal troubles mounted. He stopped making payments on the $2.2 million mortgage, and Bank of America obtained a foreclosure judgment Oct. 21.
The home and 5.4 acres of the 10-acre compound were to be sold at auction Thursday morning at the Maricopa County courthouse.
The bank’s lawyer, Susan Jones, said she’s authorized to bid $1.49 million to protect the lender’s interest. But she’s hoping for a sale.
″Frankly, it’ll take some work, but even in the shape it’s in, it’s still a lovely home,″ Jones said.
The sale comes as Keating is on trial in Los Angeles on federal racketeering charges for allegedly looting his Lincoln Savings and cheating his investors in an S&L collapse that cost taxpayers $2.6 billion.
Keating, who turns 69 on Friday, once cut a wide swath through Phoenix society as a land developer, anti-pornography crusader and chairman of Lincoln’s parent, American Continental Corp.
The house fits such an image, coming equipped with gold-plated bathroom fixtures and gold-inlaid moldings around its doors and along its floors.
Its ceilings tower 12 feet or more overhead, even in the bathrooms, which come with large whirlpool tubs.
The house is replete with marble, from the pink stone in the bathrooms to an elaborate multicolor sun that stretches across the floor of the foyer.
There’s a three-car garage, adjoining a guest house and den for Keating, and the state-of-the art kitchen has two dishwashers.
There are also signs of Keating’s demise.
A bedroom safe is crossed with yellow tape reading ″Evidence: The Federal Bureau of Investigation.″
The plants haven’t been watered in months and some have died. A white horse owned by Keating’s son-in-law was seen rambling through the yard on Wednesday.
Some of the connections to Keating can’t be erased without making modifications.
For example, no wall separates the house from the home of Keating son-in- law Gary Hall, where Keating’s wife, Mary Elaine, is staying.
And then there are the family names and birth dates written when a sidewalk was poured behind the garage. Next to a drawing of a champagne glass is the inscription ″CHK Jr. 12-4-23.″