Okaloosa lays out plans to recoup Bellinger theft losses (DOCUMENTS)

mark bellinger home fraud nwfdn

The Bellinger home.

FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM.

Okaloosa County hopes to recoup the money Mark Bellinger used to buy his home in Destin some time in March.

Bellinger, the former director of the Tourist Development Council, purchased the home illegally in August 2011 with $747,000 from a BP oil spill grant. He lived in the four-bedroom house in Kelly Plantation with his wife Kathy until his death in early May 2012.

The home was seized by the U.S. Marshal’s Office last summer and now is under contract to sell for $620,000.

“The way the process works with the federal government is they have contracts with outside brokers who attempt to arrive at a buyer for these properties,” said attorney Greg Stewart, special counsel to Okaloosa County.

Stewart on Tuesday presented county commissioners with a plan to “aggressively” pursue the recovery of some of the revenue Bellinger spent illegally and without authorization while he headed the TDC.

See presentation about TDC recovery efforts.

Stewart said the county has filed a petition to receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the house minus maintenance and broker fees.

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