Wife of ex-CA chief Sanjay Kumar selling estate
(Newsday (Melville, NY) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Oct. 10--The wife of imprisoned former Computer Associates chief Sanjay Kumar is selling a 24-acre Upper Brookville estate that was once used by the Roman Catholic Church as the St. Francis Retreat House.
Sylvia Kumar is asking $17million for La Selva and put it on the market in June, months after a federal judge ordered her husband to pay shareholders $798million in restitution after he pleaded guilty to securities fraud and other charges. Kumar was scheduled to start serving a 12-year prison sentence last August, and although the bulk of the penalty will probably never be paid off, the former businessman promised to sell off $52 million in assets by 2008's end.
According to property records, St. Francis Monastery got $6.75 million from Sylvia Kumar in June 2001, not long after stories surfaced about problems at Computer Associates.
It was unclear how the Kumars used the 40-room, two-story villa on the estate, which is across from Planting Fields Arboretum.
"They have never applied for building permits. I have no idea what they've done with it, whether they're living in it, stockholding it," said Lenice Hertweck, mayor of Upper Brookville Village, whose offices are in the arboretum.
La Selva is notable in the mayor's mind partly because about two years ago, the Kumars challenged Nassau County's taxes of $78,000-plus and won. That meant the trickle-down tax revenue from La Selva to the village was reduced.
Sylvia Kumar could not be reached for comment.
The 1915 mansion was built at the behest of investor Henry Sanderson, who had the gardens laid out by the famous Olmsted Brothers landscapers and done in the Italian style -- colorful and with statues of a mermaid and merman, according to the book "North Shore Long Island Country Houses," published this year by Acanthus Press. Its name is Italian for forest or woods.
Inside the Italian Renaissance-style mansion are a domed rotunda, a loggia, a library, two dining rooms, seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, according to the listing with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty. On the grounds are a three-bedroom cottage and a walled carriage house with six bedrooms, a workshop and a heated garage or space for five stables.
The Kumars have a smaller home nearby that Sanjay Kumar sold to his wife in May for more than $3.1 million. Last November, a State Supreme Court justice agreed to a CA lawsuit asking for Kumar's assets to be frozen because he began in 2002 to transfer more than $20 million in assets to his wife and daughters as federal investigators delved into possible crimes.
Hertweck said the couple kept a low profile.
"They go to charitable affairs and they donate to charities and go to charity balls," the mayor said. "But other than that, I have never seen them."
Staff writer Mark Harrington contributed to this story.
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