When George and Teresa Kastanes received a nearly $10 million loan from the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement pension fund in 2008, the money, writes mLive, was supposed to be invested in distressed properties.
“The way it was presented was to revitalize residential areas in Detroit,” explained Police and Fire Pension Fund Chairman Sean Neary to SKNVibes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, George, 62, acted as a lawyer in the buying and selling of foreclosed properties, purchasing homes at rock-bottom prices, then selling them to buyers who typically wouldn't qualify for financing.
Instead of investing all the pension-provided funds, however, it appears the couple used at least $5 million of that money, in combination with close to an additional $20 million sourced from other backers, to live an exorbitant lifestyle that included shopping for million-dollar Caribbean vacation homes, rare statues, and jewel-encrusted Russian eggs.
Those allegations are leveled in federal court documents that also indicate, as the scheme began to unravel, a cavalier attitude toward the losses.
In an email exchange documented by the Detroit News, Teresa comments in a response to her husband about creditors threatening legal action, "I guess we tell them to get in line!!!" She ends the email, "Love, Poobette."
And while the Detroit Free Press reports George was arrested in Florida earlier this year, shortly after the couple declared bankruptcy and fled to the island of St. Kitts, 54-year-old Teresa (aka "Poobette") -- and a suspected large amount of assets -- remains abroad.
Now, lawyers are attempting to track down Teresa and any assets, an endeavor that's proving to be difficult. According to the Detroit News, the woman is rumored to be hiding out in a mountainside resort in Costa Rica, protected by armed guards.