Hollywood Home For Sale
A Beverly Hills home that filmmaker-aviator Howard Hughes famously crashed his plane into has hit the market for nearly $15 million.
In 1946, Hughes was flying his prototype XH-11 Aircraft when the plane began to leak oil. He tried to descend to safety at a nearby golf course but failed and instead barreled into the back of the house on North Linden Drive.
Renowned Southern California architect Wallace Neff designed the home, completed in 1921, 25 years before Hughes’ ill-fated flight. It has recently undergone an impeccable restoration, according to the listing.
The home’s colorful past doesn’t stop with Hughes, however. Today, the home is owned by a textile business executive accused of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. Morad “Ben” Neman, chief executive officer of Pacific Eurotex Corp, a wholesale business in the Los Angeles Fashion District, listed the five-bedroom, Spanish-style home on Wednesday for $14.95 million.
The embattled businessman and his wife bought the property for $6.245 million in 2013, according to county property records—a year before federal agents swept through L.A.’s Fashion District and arrested Mr. Neman and other Pacific Eurotex employees.
The Justice Department alleges that several Fashion District businesses, including Pacific Eurotex, laundered U.S. dollars into Mexican pesos through bulk purchases paid in cash. The fashion businesses allegedly aided the notorious Sinaloa Drug Cartel, considered one of the most powerful in the world, in laundering proceeds from U.S. drug sales, the government claims.
Mr. Neman pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to launder money and illegally structuring currency transactions to avoid reporting. The trial is ongoing. A lawyer for Pacific Eurotex did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At one point, Mr. Neman submitted plans to Beverly Hills to demolish the house but later withdrew the application.
Instead, the home has been “impeccably restored,” according to the listing with agent Myra Nourmand of Nourmand & Associates. Ms. Nourmand did not immediately return a request for comment.
White marble covers the first floor entryway, which leads into a dramatic double-height living room with a pitched, beamed ceiling. Arched doorways lead out to a loggia at the back of the house, which looks out onto a backyard replete with a pool, spa, bar and patio area. Outside, there is also a firepit and large barbecue.
The home has a number of authentic details from when Neff designed it, including a den featuring a fireplace with an original grill and ironwork, according to the listing.
The home is much better shape than it was after Hughes lost control of his plane. He crashed through the roof, creating a massive hole over the main staircase and sending wood and debris down into the foyer, video from the time shows.
The crash sent the plane up in flames and nearly killed Hughes, who pulled himself out of the wreckage despite crushing his collar bone, cracking multiple ribs, shifting his heart to the left side of his chest cavity and suffering numerous third-degree burns.