Sarasota News Leader

05/02/2014

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has just five bedrooms, but Siegel still adver- tises it as a 12-bedroom property." The release added that the 19 victims in the case "were either forced to stay at the prop- erty without adequate accommodations or sacrificed the money they spent and had to pay to stay elsewhere." The release continues, "Siegel told the victims to sue him, claiming he did not have money to return. However, detectives obtained finan- cial records showing Siegel paid $172,500 to a Fidelity Investment Plan last year." Detectives identified additional victims, but they said they did not want to be part of the criminal investigation, fearing they would lose money they already had paid Siegel, the release says. Siegel was ordered held on $55,000 bond, according to the Sheriff's Office report. He was released on a cash bond in the evening of April 28, jail records show. His arraignment has been set for May 23. Siegel was listed as unemployed on his arrest record. An April 29 check of state chiropractic licensing documents shows Siegel's license expired on March 31. It originally was issued by the state on Feb. 13, 1998. The News Leader learned earlier this year that Siegel was in the process of selling his State Street Spine practice to a couple relo- cating to Sarasota. THE VICTIMS One victim, who asked that her name not be used, provided the News Leader with an email Siegel sent her on March 12 after she inquired about a refund for the house (the News Leader has not corrected spelling, punctuation or grammar): "I deeply deeply apologize for this unfortu- nate news," Siegel wrote. "I have been doing vacation rentals for the last 12 years. In all this time I have been able to bring great places to visitors from around the world. In this time we have built quite a reputation, many, many return visitors, and great first hand recommendations throughout the industry. Unfortunately, this will change drastically due to the very, very unfortunate circumstances we have come to experience over the past several months." He continued, "We cannot give very specific details due to ongoing liatigation, but I will give a broad reason for this email. Several months ago, a renter caused a major incidence at our managed property. We had to gut and demolish the entire lower level. We also were contacted by local county officials with zoning ordinance issues that stated we legally cannot manage or lease the lower level of the property in its current state." Siegel added, "Trying to understand the zon- ing, ordinances, and rebuild this property has been a total nightmare to say the least. We have ongoing litigation, and the cost of rebuilding, engineering, liens to the property, and many, many other issues have put us at a financial crossroads." Siegel also wrote that he could not offer a refund, but he could give the family a credit for future use of the house, adding, "We would Sarasota News Leader May 2, 2014 Page 18

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