Podlucky mansion in Ligonier Township will go to sheriff's sale
A mansion in Ligonier Township that was being built by former LeNature's Inc. CEO Gregory Podlucky will be sold at a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale on Nov. 10 to pay more than $1 million owed to creditors, according to court records.
The sprawling structure off Route 711 in Ligonier Township has been on the market for several years, but the $2.5 million asking price and $500,000 down payment has attracted no buyers. The completed mansion would have cost $15 million, court records show.
At a sheriff's sale, held to satisfy judgments or mortgage foreclosures, a buyer must put up at least 10 percent of the value — a minimum $100,000 for the Podlucky property — with the balance due in 10 days.
The 24,000-square-foot mansion was scheduled for the auction block in 2011, but a dispute over its value delayed the sale. One appraiser estimated the value at $500,000, while another said the property was worth $1 million.
Construction came to a halt in 2006 when LeNature's, a beverage and bottling company, was forced into bankruptcy and federal prosecutors began a complex criminal investigation into Podlucky's business practices.
Investigators found the former CPA kept two sets of financial records that made the company appear profitable and growing to investors when, in fact, it was foundering in debt.
Podlucky and other company executives were convicted of siphoning more than $856 million from banks and other lenders as part of a Ponzi scheme to keep the failing company afloat through new loans. The 54-year-old is serving a 20-year federal prison term. His wife, son and brother, who all were convicted in the scheme, also are in prison.
The investigation revealed the Podluckys' lavish spending on a $33 million cache of gems and jewelry kept in a hidden room, $1 million on toy trains, and numerous luxury vehicles.
Investigators said Podlucky used corporate funds to build the mansion in Lloyalhannon, an upscale housing development, that he claimed would house a “training center” for LeNature's employees.
The building contains more than $800,000 in rare Honduran mahogany, $2 million worth of trim work, seven limestone fireplaces that cost $70,000, six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. A state-of-the-art auditorium was fully equipped with the latest electronic devices.
Podlucky had planned to install an indoor hockey rink and a $7 million swimming pool before the company's financial collapse.
The Internal Revenue Service filed a tax lien against Podlucky in 2012 for $661.3 million, according to court records.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.