Robert Durst Net Worth and The Family’s Real Estate Empire Fortune

Robert Durst counts among the several New Yorkers that were born right into wealth. Despite swimming in and out of several controversies as grave as serial murder allegations, Durst remains afloat as far as money is concerned, thanks to his family’s real estate empire. While many presently know Durst as a criminal, some others still hold him for an estate baron and millionaire. But what exactly is Robert Durst’s net worth at the moment; and what do you know about the vast fortunes of the Durst Organisation?

How Much Is Robert Durst Net Worth?

Many sources including the New York Times and the FBI place Robert Durst’s net worth at an estimated $100 million. The real estate scion amassed the majority of his wealth from his family’s real estate business. He was born Robert Alan Durst on 12th April 1943 into the wealthy family of NYC real estate magnate, Seymour Durst and his spouse, Bernice Herstein.

Robert is the first of his parents’ four children comprising two brothers (Douglas and Thomas) and a sister (Wendy). He grew up alongside his siblings in Scarsdale, New York where he attended the Scarsdale High School. Durst subsequently attended Lehigh University, graduating in 1965 with a B.Sc. in Economics. Meanwhile, as the first son of the family, Robert is automatically the heir of the Durst empire.

Breaking Down Robert Durst’s Family Real Estate Empire Fortune

Robert Durst’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Durst was a Jewish tailor and migrant who moved from Austria-Hungary in 1902 and settled in New York where he eventually landed huge success in the real estate business. He consequently set up the Durst Organisation in 1915. Upon his death in 1974, his son Seymour (Robert’s father), took over the family business. While Joseph Durst started the real estate business with acquiring already constructed buildings, Seymour expanded it into fresh estate development and construction. He subsequently became one of the major pioneers of landmark buildings and skyscrapers in New York.

As of 2015, Forbes rankings revealed that the Durst family real estate is worth up to $5.2 billion. The empire reportedly owns and manages over 8.5 million square feet of office space in Midtown Manhattan and more than 1 million square feet of luxury rented homes in New York City. Some of the notable properties of the family are the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the Conde Nast building in midtown, Manhattan, and a 10% stake in the reconstructed One World Trade Center.

Multi-million-dollar Trust Settlement

Robert Durst, right from his early years has been associated with personality issues. As early as ten, Durst already had heated rivalry with his brother Douglas. A psychiatric record also suggested he suffered from personality decomposition and schizophrenia. Owing to his continued record of several inappropriate behaviors and criminality, Robert’s father bequeathed his heir right to his younger brother, Douglas Durst.

Douglas consequently began heading the family empire in 1992, a few years before Seymour’s death in 1995. This notwithstanding, Robert still got a fair share of the family fortunes. Forming a greater part of Durst’s impressive worth is his trust settlement of $65 million. Prior to the decisive agreement, Robert received an annual income of $2 million from the family trust.

Following the settlement, Durst has subsequently made significant attempts at investing his money in real estate alongside his second wife, Debrah Lee Charatan to whom he gave $20 million in 2006. In 2011, he purchased two apartments at the cost of $6.1 million in Harlem and Brooklyn. He later sold off the two properties in 2014, on a profit of over $10 million, according to CNN Money.

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Dwindling Fortunes Following Murder Allegations, Trials, and Imprisonment

Durst in court during one of his murder case hearings image source

Starting from 1982, Durst has entangled himself in three murder cases. The first was that of Kathleen McCormack Durst, his first wife, who disappeared in 1982, about nine years after their marriage in 1973. Robert had a troubled marriage with Kathleen and many believe that he eventually killed her.

Many years after McCormick’s disappearance, Susan Berman, a longtime close friend of Durst was the next to go down. She was shot dead at her Los Angeles home on December 4, 2000. The murder occurred not long after the New York State Police resumed an open investigation of McCormick’s case, and a few days before an alleged interrogation by investigators. Many believe Berman had substantial information on Kathleen’s whereabouts, and that Durst got rid of her to forestall a spill.

Following his indictment in Susan Berman’s murder, Robert Durst went hiding in a Galveston boarding house in Texas. He however, still won’t let go of the life of crimes. He soon landed into police custody after he killed and dismembered his old neighbor, Morris Black in October, 2001. The court, however, acquitted him on the grounds that he murdered Black in self defense.

Robert Durst’s Incarceration

In addition to the above murder allegations, Robert Durst has also entangled himself in several other criminal acts including shoplifting, possession of unauthorized arms and controlled substances. Although Durst has over the years succeeded in escaping conviction and imprisonment for his criminal acts, the suspicions, allegations, and ensuing court trials have negatively affected his worth. He has indeed spent fortunes in hiring high profile lawyers to pluck him out of grave charges that would on a normal day, earn him life sentences.

In February 2016 however, Durst eventually earned a 7-year sentence for illegal arms and drugs possession charges. He has since been serving his time at a correctional facility in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Susan Berman murder case continues; and with a deteriorating health condition, no one knows exactly what is left of Robert Durst’s net worth at the moment.


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