Dan Kaufman—also known, variously, as Dan Kay, Dan Katze, and the Montauk Grifter—is currently awaiting trial in Manhattan on grand larceny charges for allegedly conning a tech company out of $20,000. He also faces hearings later this month in Brooklyn for probation violations relating to a prior grand larceny conviction for stealing credit card numbers. Both cases stem from his decade-long career as one of New York's most prolific and obsessive con-men—a career on which he routinely relied on online dating services to troll for victims. But his current legal troubles haven't stopped him from taking to OkCupid to dupe more unsuspecting women with extravagant lies. Look out ladies. He's back.
Mystery solved, sort of: It seems reasonably clear to me that Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a., Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, a.k.a. the Busted Chef, a.k.a. the Montauk Grifter, never actually worked as a producer on Hell's Kitchen, as he repeatedly claimed to the people he conned. But he definitely managed to convince several of the show's former contestants that he worked there, which is some fairly acrobatic grifting.
Yesterday, we brought you the tale of Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a. Dan Kay, a.k.a. Dan Katze, the preternaturally prolific conman who told his victims, among many other things, that he was a world-class chef and a producer on Hell's Kitchen and Chopped—even though he can't cook. Since then, we've learned that he probably did manage to grift his way onto Hell's Kitchen. Also: We've gotten tons of emails from people who have crossed Dan's path, which we've published below.
He is Dan Kaufman, Dan Kay, Dan Katze. He is a celebrity chef, an internet entrepreneur, a television producer. He has worked for Apple, Google, AOL, the Rainbow Room. He hangs out with Steve Case, Gordon Ramsey, Tim Armstrong. He's a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the founder of a seminal punk band. He's one of the more persistent and obsessive grifters to ply the streets of New York City—not to mention online dating sites—in recent decades.
• Cynthia Nixon and her fiancée, education activist Christine Marinoni, have picked up a new weekend home: The couple are putting down $1.7 million for a 1,400-square-foot waterfront cottage in Montauk. [Newsday]
• Investment banker Lewis van Amerongen has gone into contract to sell his five-story townhouse at 13 East 71st Street, six months after slashing the price of the home by $8 million. The townhouse had been listed most recently for $16.95 million. [Cityfile, BHS]
• Kathleen Turner has dropped the price of her home in Amagansett by $1 million. The six-bedroom house, which has been on-and-off the market since 2005, is now listed for $4.95 million. [Newsday, PDE]
• It looks like the recent rumors about Anderson Cooper moving to a former firehouse in Village were true. The CNN anchor picked up the 8,240-square-foot building on West 3rd Street in September for $4.3 million and is now reportedly in the process of renovating the century-old building. [NYP]
• The buyer who plunked down $9.41 million on Bernie and Ruth Madoff's oceanfront home in Montauk home has been revealed: It's billionaire real estate mogul Steve Roth and his wife, Broadway producer Daryl Roth. [WSJ]
• Alexander Navab, a partner at KKR and co-head of the firm's private equity business in North America, has paid $4.9 million for a two-bedroom co-op at the River House on East 52nd Street. Meanwhile, his four-bedroom spread just a few floors up remains on the market for $24.5 million. [Cityfile]
• The Minetta Lane townhouse owned by late party planner Robert Isabell has been reduced in price since first going on the market for $3.95 million. The 2,813-square-foot building, which features a "basement hand-chipped by Tibetan-born sherpas from Brooklyn," is now $3.45 million. [Curbed, MK]
• Jann Wenner and his partner, Matt Nye, will soon be moving into new digs in Montauk. The founder of Rolling Stone and publisher of Us Weekly and Men's Journal is paying $11.9 million for a 6,300-square-foot home on Old Montauk Highway. The waterfront property had been been originally listed for $14.9 million. [NYP, Corcoran]
• Whitney Houston has put her New Jersey home on the market. The 12,561-square-foot manse in Mendham Township is listed for $2.5 million; her guest cottage next door is no longer available, however. [Real Estalker, CB]
• Real estate developer Ara Hovnanian may have found a buyer for his fourth-floor apartment at 820 Fifth Avenue. Five months after the co-op's board rejected Jeff Blau's $31 million offer, the board has reportedly given the go-ahead to Ken Griffin, the CEO of Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group. The hedge fund billionaire is expected to pay "just under" $35 million. [NYP]
• It looks like Katie Lee is getting the West Village townhouse as part of her split from Billy Joel. The cookbook author is paying Joel $3 million for his share of the the Perry Street home, which the couple purchased in 2005 for $5.9 million. [NYO]
• A month after it was reported that Bernie Madoff's Montauk home had gone into contract, an unidentified buyer has closed on the purchase of the oceanfront manse. The five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home, which had been listed for $8.75 million, ended up selling for $9.41 million. [ABC, NYDN]
• Writer/director John Ridley has finally unloaded his condo at 15 Central Park West. The 2,237-square-foot pad, which Ridley bought for $6.65 million in July 2008 and listed for $13 million just a few days later, has sold for $8 million to a company listed in property records as Moral Hole LLC. [Cityfile]
• Oil exec Tom Edelman has placed his 11-room apartment at 770 Park Avenue back on the market, albeit for quite a bit less than when he last put it up for sale a year and a half ago. The eighth-floor co-op, which Edelman listed for $16.75 million after picking up a bigger apartment at 775 Park, is now being offered for $11 million with Brown Harris Stevens' John Burger. [NYT, BHS]
• Late fashion designer Abbijane Schifrin's former townhouse at 141 East 19th Street has gone on the market. The five-story manse, which is currently divided into two units, is listed for $8.75 million. [NYT, Sotheby's]
• Kelly Klein, Calvin Klein's second ex-wife and a photographer, horse enthusiast, and social fixture, has paid $2.091 million for a two-bedroom co-op at 2 West 67th Street, the building that she's resided in for years. [Cityfile]
• The Southampton mansion once owned by Howard Gittis, the right-hand man to Ron Perelman who passed away in late 2007, has reportedly gone into contract for "about $45 million." The 14-acre estate, which Gittis picked up for $9 million in 1993, is being bought by an unidentified financier. [NYP, Corcoran]
• Bjork and Matthew Barney have closed on the purchase of a condo at 160 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. The couple paid $4 million for the four-bedroom pad. Meanwhile, their former place at 180 West Houston Street is still on the market for $1.7 million. [Brownstoner via NYO, BCRE]
• Attorney Bruce Kaye and his wife Deborah have sold their two-bedroom condo at 15 CPW. The 32nd-floor apartment, which the Kayes bought for $7.8 million in July 2008 and put back on the market for $11.9 million in April, sold for $11.7 million to an unidentified buyer. [Cityfile]
Bernie Madoff's home in Montauk, which went up for sale two weeks ago, has found a buyer. ABC News reports the beachfront home has been sold to an unidentified person in an all cash deal "over the asking price," according to Joan and Raymond Hegner of the Corcoran Group. Interest in the fraudster's property was "fast and furious," say the brokers. Maybe it was it the water pressure that sealed the deal? [ABC News, previously]
• Jennifer Esposito is looking to sell in the Village. The actress has put her one-bedroom apartment at 23 East 10th Street on the market, along with the one-bedroom co-op she owns upstairs. The two apartments, which Esposito once planned to combine into a duplex, are currently listed for a combined $1.435 million. [NYM, MDNY]
• Peter Buffett, the son of Warren Buffett, and his wife Jennifer have closed on the purchase of a condo at One Madison Park. The couple paid $3.5 million for the three-bedroom pad. [Cityfile, previously]
Plum TV's Nick Leighton gave himself a tour of Bernie Madoff's house in Montauk this week, which can now be yours for $8.75 million. Leighton isn't all that impressed by the decor, not surprisingly. ("I think this was last renovated before I was born," he says). But he does uncover some better news in the master bath: There's great water pressure in the shower! [PlumTV]
• Tom Flexner, a former vice chairman of Bear Stearns who joined Citigroup in April of 2008 to oversee its global real estate investment banking business, has closed on the sale of his four-story townhouse at 136 East 80th Street. The three-bedroom home, which Flexner first listed for $12 million last July with broker Kirk Henckels, and which went into contract to sell in May, sold to one Regan Fitzpatrick for $8.3 million. [Cityfile]
• Real estate investor Michael Hirtenstein has paid $16.8 million for five units on three floors of the Enrique Norten-designed One York, which he's planning to combine and use as a place to host "philanthropic events." [NYP]
Bernie Madoff's Montauk home goes up for sale this week. A spectacularly lavish retreat it is not. According to the AP, it's "cottage-size by superrich standards" and full of "faded furnishings," an impression echoed by the Times, which describes it as "less grandiose than one might expect given the scope of Mr. Madoff's $60 billion scheme."