How A Prospective Buyer Lost $1,000,000...and WE Lived To Tell About IT

If you're just joining us, this is the story of selling the highest profile property in our state. 55,000 square feet of stunning opulence and the the strange, bizarre stories that happened over the five and half years it took to close it.  We had a lot of fun during those years (?), being stalked with a Jim Morrison wanna be, flirting with a female wrestler from the WWE and finally nearly witnessing the death first hand of Teddy Roosevelt's nephew. We had a great time along the way and didn't get shot...which we feel is good. 

Today's story took place in December of 2008, right at four years ago.  We had a world wide 'philanthropist' who claimed to to truly be an angel for people in need all over the globe who was interested.  She viewed the property and was ready to submit her bid actually just before Thanksgiving of 2008. She spent over $13,000 to have it inspected and was set to wire the $15,000,000 to our title company and coupled with her $1,000,000 earnest money would close on the transaction. A sale price of $16,000,000 would make for a very happy holiday for Mrs. Cooper. For those of you NOT in the real estate business, when you get a $1,000,000 non refundable deposit....usually (clearly not always) it means you WILL have a closing. So we thought.  

She did everything right. She wired the $1,000,000 deposit from a Delaware corporation that didn't have any legal action against it (a good start), went through inspections cleanly and was prepared to close.  Funny thing though. On the closing day, no additional funds appeared. Where could they be? It was truly a mystery. Along about 4:00 on the last afternoon of the contract and her time to close, she phoned the legal team from Conseco.  There were problems with the wire, JP Morgan this and Goldman Sachs that. It was a conspiracy and she was being shafted in an unmitigated sexist attempt to foil her buying this mansion. The shame!  She wanted a written 30 day extension. Ahhhhhh no. She was told that if she got her money to the title company in full, Conseco would close. Funny thing. We never heard from her again. At 5:01 on the last day of that contract in December of 2008, that $1,000,000 went from a local title company to the Harris Bank in Chicago in the blink of an eye. The company had kept it for failure to perform. She had lost her (or SOMEBODY'S) $1,000,000.  She must have not needed it very badly because she never came forward again. Of course it may have had something to do with that phone call I got 13 months later from the FBI. Lucy had some 'splainin to do. Apparently our angel had set this up as some form of pyramid transaction and the rich overseas folks at the bottom of the pyramid were none to happy. We answered all of the nice FBI agent's calls....and that was the last that our little angel was ever heard from.  We are now on the FBI's quarterly mailing list, however. They really do seem to be very nice people. 
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