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Hedge fund billionaire Michael Fisch is divorcing his wife Laura — and the couple is fighting over three homes on the same ritzy street in the Hamptons totaling nearly $100 million.
Fisch, the founder of New York-based American Securities which boasts revenue of $45 billion, and former model Laura Roberson-Fisch were married for 33 years with no prenup, according to sources.
At stake are an astonishing three homes on Further Lane in Southampton, known as “billionaire’s row,” plus a blue-chip art collection thought to be worth more than $500 million.
The first Hamptons home was bought for $25.7 million in 2007. They purchased the house next door for $28 million in 2012 and the third home in 2013 for $32.5 million.
They also have a sprawling Fifth Avenue apartment bought in 2019 for $21 million, and an Upper East Side townhouse they bought in 1994 next door to Woody Allen, with whom Fisch famously feuded.
It was reported that they joined other homeowners on the south side of the block to hire a lawyer and fight the Fisches’ proposal before the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The couple was seeking to extend their four-story townhouse, built in 1888, up by one story, out by 10 feet in the rear and below ground by 17.5 feet.
The opponents contended that such an enlargement would block light and breezes, destroy backyard vistas, and harm trees and plants.
They also claimed that the construction, which requires burrowing seventeen feet underground, would destroy the peace, tranquility, and natural beauty of the interconnected gardens that the Allens, Zabars, Fisches and several other families share.
“We all got together and offered to buy the house at fair market value,” said Allen at the time. “We felt perhaps they just picked the wrong house for what they want.”
But, “He was insulted,” Ross Moskowitz, Michael Fisch’s lawyer responded to Allen, “He has lived in Carnegie Hill for twenty-some-odd years. He and his family have been stellar members of the community. They were outraged by the arrogance to assume they would leave the neighborhood.”
His company was hit by controversy in 2020 when American Securities GTL “faced scrutiny for exorbitant prison phone and video-calling rates, flaunting legal protections, allegedly bribing government officials and growing regulatory risk,” according to the Private Equity Stakeholder Project.
It added GTL, owned by American Securities since 2011, is the country’s largest provider of correctional telephone systems, video-calling systems, and financial and electronic equipment to incarcerated individuals, servicing around 1.8 million people — nearly 80 percent of the US correctional population.
The allegations included increasing the costs for prisoners to stay in touch with their families, and allegedly improperly recording thousands of attorney-client privileged phone calls in Orange County, Calif., between 2015 and 2018.
In January 2019 GTL was fined after Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he had recovered over $2.5 million from the company, which was accused
of channeling bribes and kickbacks to a Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner.
In January 2022, GTL rebranded itself as ViaPath Technologies, claiming it has worked to lower calling rates and provide free communication options for those incarcerated. Then late last year the government passed a bill that would allow the FCC to go after predatory prison phone call companies.
Reps for American Securities and ViaPath Technologies declined to comment.
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