Malibu Colony employees who were not authorized to speak publicly said the community association at the start of the summer had issued Guyton a parking permit of the type given to Colony homeowners.

Residents also gave The Times the license plate number of a 2007 Volvo sport-utility vehicle that they say they had seen parked in the garage at No. 106. A check of motor vehicle license plates conducted by The Times found that vehicle to be registered to Guyton.

When a Times reporter used the buzzer at the home's steel gate on Labor Day, a woman answered the intercom but declined to identify herself or come to the gate.

Asked whether the home had been foreclosed on, she said: "It's not foreclosed. It's owned by Collin Equities" -- a Wells Fargo unit that liquidates foreclosure properties.

The woman on the intercom denied that she was living at the house or had been using it periodically over the summer. Asked whether she could say why she was at the home, she answered, "No, I cannot."

On the website for a lenders conference next month in San Diego, a biography says Guyton, 39, obtained an MBA from USC, worked in the state controller's office during the administration of former Gov. Gray Davis and now manages a team of foreclosed-property managers and a separate team that restructures troubled commercial loans.

Property records show she has owned a home in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles since 2004.

Elins, the previous owner of the Malibu Colony home, is identified in Securities and Exchange Commission filings as the former president of Applause Inc., a toy and gift manufacturer, who since 1988 has headed Elins Enterprises, a financial and real estate firm in Sherman Oaks.

They bought the Malibu Colony home in 1996 and refinanced it for $3 million with Wells Fargo Bank in December 2007, property records show. The home's value was recorded at $12 million when the property was transferred in May to Wells Fargo.

In January, Wells Fargo said it had written off $294 million of loans that had been secured by customers' investments with Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme collapsed late last year.

Dazzan-Palmer, the real estate agent, said she quickly found a person who was prepared to make "a very big offer in cash" to buy the property, but she wasn't able to show the house to any potential buyers. The bank said it was considering offers from other agents, she said, "and then someone moved in."

"We thought maybe it had been sold," she added. "It was a big mystery. All we knew was that Larry had lost the house and that someone was living there."

Because Dazzan-Palmer had the listing to lease the property, other agents have contacted her about the home, she said. She has a website with photos of the home at "> .

"I've had calls from about 20 agents saying they've got buyers and 'When can you get us in?' " she said. "And I say, 'My client doesn't own it anymore. I brought the bank an offer myself, they didn't respond, and that's all I know.' "