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CHICAGO-The nine-hole Four Seasons Golf Club in Pembine, WI, now nearly 100 years old but recently refurbished, will be sold by public auction on October 23. The golf course was seized by IRS-Criminal Investigation in connection with the notorious multimillion-dollar insurance fraud case in Cicero, IL, a near western suburb of Chicago.

From 1992 to 1997, the Town of Cicero paid $33 million to Specialty Risk Consultants to administer a Town employee health insurance program. Specialty was a dummy corporation, and more than $12 million of this money was stolen by former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese and her associates and used to buy and refurbish the Four Seasons, an Indiana horse farm, a vacation house, and several pricey cars. After a long trial that received a great deal of local media attention in Chicago, a federal jury convicted Loren-Maltese and the others of racketeering conspiracy.

The golf course will be sold under the terms of an interlocutory court order, meaning that proceeds from the sale will be put in escrow pending the final outcome of the forfeiture action. The property consists of the 63-acre public golf course, which is on Miscauno Island in the Menominee River, plus 127 acres on the Wisconsin side of the river, adjacent to the island. It also includes a clubhouse that was renovated in high style in the mid-90s by its crooked owners: besides mahogany paneling, chandeliers, and other interior details, it is appointed with expensive furniture, artwork and collectibles, such as a pair of golf shoes autographed by Michael Jordan.

“It’s an extraordinary asset,” said Wendy Wilson, director of sales and marketing for EG&G Technical Services, which is holding the auction on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “And it has a lot of development potential, especially on the acreage off of the island,” she told GlobeSt.com. “Most of that is undeveloped land.”

According to Wilson, EG&G is responsible auctioning about 120 pieces of real estate each year seized in criminal proceedings by the federal government. “The types of properties run the gamut,” she noted, “but this is only the third golf course we’ve ever sold.” When cases are finally adjudicated, the proceeds from the sales of seized assets go to law enforcement agencies or victim restitution funds, if the convictions are upheld.

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