Bellinger’s house finally sells (DOCUMENT)

mark bellinger home fraud nwfdn

The Bellinger home.

FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM.

Okaloosa County officials are closer to recovering some of the cash from former tourism director Mark Bellinger’s illegal purchase of a four-bedroom house Destin.

The federal government sold the house in Kelly Plantation on March 8 for $620,000, said attorney Greg Stewart, special counsel to the county.

“It appears that the net sale proceeds after commission and closing costs due the United States government will be approximately $573,000,” Stewart said in an email to the Daily News. “That does not appear to include the past cost of maintenance of the property, which would further reduce the net sale proceeds.”

County Administrator Jim Curry said he was pleased the home finally had sold.

“With the market conditions like they’ve been, I’m glad it has moved,” he said.

Bellinger bought the house at 4384 Stonebridge Road in August 2011 for $747,000 with money from a BP oil spill grant. He disguised the purchase as a multi-city “Boast the Coast” advertising campaign on an invoice from Lewis Communications, an advertising firm that previously contracted with the county.

Bellinger lived in the spacious, golf course community home with his wife. Authorities later discovered $6,258 in stolen furniture inside.

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