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'The ROI Guy' sells lakefront Winter Park estate for $4.1M to neighbor

A view of the front of a home on Genius Drive in Winter Park that sold within the past week. The property borders Lake Mizell to the rear.
A view of the front of a home on Genius Drive in Winter Park that sold within the past week. The property borders Lake Mizell to the rear. (Premier Sotheby's International Realty)

The founder of a local financial services firm sold his lakefront estate in Winter Park on Friday for $4.1 million to a neighbor from down the street, himself the former owner of a subprime auto lender that was shut down two years ago.

Located in the 200 block of Genius Drive with frontage on Lake Mizell, the 1.05-acre property features a 12-year-old custom home designed by Carlos Posada, with 5,837 square feet of conditioned area across two stories, five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths.

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The sellers were Thomas and Judy Pisello, who previously paid $952,500 for the property in May 2000, building the current home in 2004.

Thomas Pisello founded Winter Park-based Alinean Inc. in 2001, serves as its chief executive officer, and is known as "The ROI Guy," an entrepreneur and author of "The Frugalnomics Survival Guide."

Insight on which Orlando personal injury attorney and his wife paid to upgrade in The Vias neighborhood, and their former home about to hit the market.

Wendy Maher of Premier Sotheby's International Realty was listing agent on the property.

The buyers were Stephen and Andrea Baron, who also own a 6,600-square-foot home about a half-block to the south on Genius Drive. They paid $1.8 million for that home in June 2011.

Stephen Baron is the former president and sole shareholder of Condor Capital Corp., a subprime auto finance company that was based in Hauppauge, N.Y.

In December 2014, Condor Capital was shut down by the New York Department of Financial Services, after the NYDFS successfully sued the company for keeping millions of dollars owed to borrowers, and overcharging them for interest in violation of the Truth in Lending Act.

Terms of the final consent judgment required Condor and Baron to make full restitution plus interest to all customers, which officials estimated at up to $9 million, according to a January 2015 report by SubPrime Auto Finance News.

Condor Capital had to sell off its remaining loans, and surrender its license to operate in 30 states, including Florida.

The lawsuit was cited as the first legal action initiated by a state regulator using the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which empowers state regulators to bring civil actions in federal courts for violating consumer protection requirements.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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