A tangled legal web for iconic South Lakeshore home heading to auction

    The South Lakeshore Drive home that for many years has been the residence of developer Tommy Spinosa or members of his family is in foreclosure and is scheduled to be auctioned at a sheriff’s sale Wednesday morning.

    But the foreclosing lender isn’t a bank. Rather, it’s an entity called 498 Investments, LLC that lists Spinosa as its manager and sole officer.

    According to court records, 498 Investments is suing the owner of the property, Realty Holding Company, LLC and Spinosa individually for defaulting on more than $3.2 million of loans. Realty Holding Company also lists Spinosa as its sole manager.

    Court documents show the loans in question were originally made to Spinosa in 2011 and 2013 by Bancorp South, the developer’s original lender in the Rouzan development. But in 2014, the bank sold the debt to 498 Investments for $2.6 million.

    In June 2018, 498 Investments filed suit against Spinosa and Realty Holding Company. The case was delayed, in part, for procedural reasons, but the sheriff’s sale sought in the original petition is scheduled to go forward in the morning.

    According to a listing published Monday in the legal notices, the property will be sold to the highest bidder.

    While it may seem curious that one entity managed by Spinosa is foreclosing on another entity he controls, the developer says he does not own the house or either of the LLCs that list him as sole officer. He also says he no longer lives in the house.

    His attorney, Ronnie Berthelot, declines to comment.

    Regardless of who owns the LLCs, however, the foreclosure maneuver is a legal way to remove the debt from the property and any liens or encumbrances that may be on it.

    The home is one of the iconic mansions on Lakeshore Drive, sitting on a one-acre tract with a spacious yard overlooking the LSU lakes. Its estimated value is nearly $1.4 million, according to an online listing. The tax assessor in East Baton Rouge Parish values the property assessment at $1.1 million. 

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