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What's worse: federal prison or having your wife and girlfriend in the same house?

August 30, 2011

Few of us have the misfortune to taste either of the awful fates in the headline, but an Ohio real estate figure will now be able to compare and contrast. Thomas Parenteau of Hilliard, Ohio yesterday received a 22-year sentence for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain loans and evade taxes.

While at the peak of his career, Mr. Parenteau shared a house with his wife, his mistress, and his children by the mistress -- though to be sure, it was a 30,000 square-foot house. Both the wife and mistress were caught up in the case.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Central to the case was a 30,000-square-foot mansion at 4500 Dublin Rd. overlooking the Scioto River near Hilliard. Parenteau and his wife, Marsha, bought it for $1.8 million in 2003 through a trust and then, prosecutors said, used fraudulent documents to obtain $18 million in loans against the property.

The case also involved seven other luxury homes.

Parenteau’s trial last summer lasted 28 days. On the first day he fired his attorney and represented himself throughout the remainder of the proceeding. Two court-appointed lawyers acted as observers and advisers.

Maybe surviving with your girlfriend and your kids in the same house as your wife makes you feel you can do anything -- even be a lawyer. That doesn't seem to have worked out.

Related: And you thought taxes were complicated

TaxDood has more.

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» 22 Years, But at Least He’ll be Away from his Wife and Mistress from Taxable Talk
We’ve written about Thomas Parenteau before. His trial was straight out of a cheap novel: He was accused of tax fraud and money laundering while living in a 30,000 square foot mansion with his wife and his mistress. Last year, he was found guilty... [Read More]

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