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Lawyerly Lairs: A Federal Prosecutor’s $25 Million Apartment

It must be tough to leave an apartment like this one, with great views of Central Park, to go work in a drab federal office building.

Being a federal prosecutor is an amazing legal job, but it doesn’t pay particularly well. When I worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I earned well under six figures. An assistant U.S. attorney can break the $100,000 mark after a sufficient number of years in practice, but AUSAs generally don’t earn Biglaw money.

(People who work as special AUSAs on secondment from better-paying parts of the federal government, such as Main Justice or the SEC, earn significantly more than regular AUSAs on the “AD” — Administratively Determined, aka Awfully Depressing — pay scale. But even these SAUSAs, not to be confused with the completely unpaid SAUSAs, make less than they would in comparable private practice positions.)

This brings us to the question du jour: how can a federal prosecutor afford to live in an apartment that is worth more than twice as much as the most expensive lawyer home in Washington, D.C.? We’re talking about a $25 million apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in one of Fifth Avenue’s finest prewar buildings, with amazing views of Central Park.

Come up with some guesses, then keep reading….

Tali Farhadian Weinstein

The assistant U.S. attorney in question is no stranger to these pages (or to me; she’s a law school classmate and friend). Her name is Tali Farhadian Weinstein, née Tali Farimah Farhadian. In 2011, we reported on her joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn (E.D.N.Y.).

In 2010, Farhadian, who’s now 36, married Boaz Weinstein, who’s now 38 — and who was recently described by the New York Times as “a wunderkind of the New York hedge fund world.” Here’s what our weddings correspondent, Laurie Lin, previously wrote about the Weinsteins, when she named them winners of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch:

The Case:
– This bride, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, has been a Rhodes Scholar, clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, worked at the Department of Justice (where she was the subject of mild controversy), and been repeatedly referred to by David Lat as a “lush Persian beauty.” Tali was a classmate of ours at YLS; we know that she’s been slobbered on enough in her life, and we won’t embarrass her more here. Suffice it to say that she’s as lovely as her résumé.
– The groom lacks his bride’s stratospheric academic credentials (although he graduated from the University of Michigan, which isn’t too shabby). He does, however, have his own Wikipedia entry, which informs us that he once won a Maserati from Warren Buffett in a poker tournament. Having made and lost billions for Deutsche Bank as a derivatives trader, he now runs his own hedge fund.

The Case Against:
– Yes, she’s a bit easier on the eyes than he is. But c’mon — if you’re an attractive Maserati-owning millionaire hedge fund tycoon, you (a) don’t exist, and (b) aren’t going to be seeking female companionship from the ranks of the Department of Justice.

With all due respect to Laurie Lin, handsome tycoons like Boaz Weinstein would be seeking companionship from assistant U.S. attorneys if all AUSAs looked like Tali Farhadian. Before settling down with Boaz, Tali dated some of the legal world’s most eligible bachelors — e.g., a dashing and well-known legal journalist; a prominent law professor and scion of a finance fortune. I think I once heard Tali described as a “lush Persian beauty” somewhere….

Laurie wrote her LEWW profile of the Weinsteins back in November 2010. Since then, their fabulosity has increased dramatically, in conjunction with Boaz Weinstein’s wealth. Last year, according to Forbes, he earned $90 million from running Saba Capital Management, a hedge fund with more than $5 billion under management.

That was in 2011. This year will probably be even better for Boaz, who made a killing on the opposite side of JPMorgan Chase’s recent, ill-fated trades (the ones that lost the bank $2 billion to $3 billion, if not more, contributing to quarterly trading losses that could exceed $4 billion). If you haven’t done so already, read this (justifiably) fawning profile of Weinstein from the New York Times, entitled The Hunch, the Pounce and the Kill: How Boaz Weinstein and Hedge Funds Outsmarted JPMorgan.

How are the Weinsteins spending their vast and growing wealth? On amazing real estate, of course. Which brings us to today’s Lawyerly Lair.

Let’s call it “the house that [JP] Morgan bought.” Whip out your napkins now, to protect your keyboard from drool….

(hidden for your protection)

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