Crime & Courts

Attorneys reach settlement in battle for Bull Valley mansion at center of drug bust

Lending company agrees to pay state, hopes to sell repaired 35-acre home

The company that loaned convicted felon David A. Soskin money to flip a mansion police said he later used for drug trafficking will keep the 17,000-square-foot home and already has met with potential buyers who want the land for themselves.

A nearly yearlong battle over the 35-acre property came to a close Thursday as final paperwork was filed with McHenry County Judges Sharon Prather and Suzanne Mangiemele.

Medford Real Estate Fund will pay the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office $165,000 for total control of the property at 1001 Cherry Valley Road, according to a court order filed Thursday morning.

At the time of Soskin’s arrest, the home and property had an appraised value of more than $1.6 million.

Medford said it was duped into giving a $450,000 mortgage to a land trust that Soskin controlled.

Christina Berish, an attorney with Thompson Coburn LLP, which represents Medford, said lenders are eager to sell the home and already have begun to talk with interested buyers.

“The deed is already in Medford’s name, and we’re looking to sell it,” Berish said.

Medford is in the process of selecting a real estate agent to sell the property, which includes a guest house, tennis court and large indoor pool.

In April, attorneys concluded three civil cases tied to the cash and luxury items seized at the home last May. Soskin signed over the mortgage to the $800,000 Bull Valley property and $42,990 in cash found at the home.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office will keep 18 43- to 55-inch TVs, a travel trailer and a 1988 Ford fire truck seized from the property.

The state also will get $35,491.18 that Soskin had stored in Bank of America, McHenry Savings and Wells Fargo accounts.

Profits from the forfeited assets will be divided among the state’s attorney’s office and the arresting agencies.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Cahill declined to comment on the five civil cases and alleged drug trafficking business tied to Soskin’s name.

Police arrested Soskin during a
May 19, 2017, raid of the home
where he lived with his fiancée, Jamie Lee.

Investigators said they found drug ledgers in the home, along with cash, several guns and ammunition.

Lee, who initially denied any knowledge of the drug operation, was arrested five days later.

She is due in court May 24 on drug possession and trafficking charges.

After his arrest, Soskin told investigators that he recently had returned from a trip to California, where he picked up marijuana to bring to Illinois.

He said he was a professional gambler and owned a consulting business, but also noted that he had been selling marijuana for the past 18 months, according to an affidavit.

Inside the home, officers found more than 1,000 prescription pills, an Excel spreadsheet inventory of marijuana that Soskin had picked up, and about $3.2 million worth of marijuana locked in a closet in the master bedroom.

The house suffered more than $56,000 worth of damage from a burst pipe in January. A third-party group, Newpoint Advisors Corp., was appointed to look after the land and salvage its value while attorneys continued to argue over the mortgage.

Newpoint spent $1,186 in professional services and out-of-pocket expenses during its time overseeing the property, according to a report filed Thursday.

Soskin took a plea deal April 26 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession with intent to deliver more than 10 pounds of marijuana.

That same day, a court order granted permission for someone to retrieve Soskin’s personal items from the home on the condition that Newpoint and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office representatives were present.

“A representative for Mr. Soskin attempted to enter the property without contacting the receiver. The receiver notified the local police, where they removed the representative from the property,” the report stated.

As of Thursday, no one on Soskin’s behalf ever contacted Newpoint to gather belongings, according to the report.

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