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June 26, 2003

REMO POLSELLI: Sugar Loaf owner gets prison time

He must pay restitution, file corrected tax returns

Record-Eagle staff writer

      DETROIT - Sugar Loaf Resort owner Remo Polselli was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to 27 months in prison and must pay $2.9 million in restitution on tax charges involving a Southfield hotel.
      Polselli, 47, of Bloomfield Township, had pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to one count of failing to account for and pay withholding and Social Security taxes and two counts of failing to file federal income tax returns for the years 1995 and 1996.
      According to his indictment, Polselli had owned and operated the Plaza Hotel in Southfield through Prudential Management Corp. and Infinity Group Ltd. from 1993 to 1997.
      During that time, the hotel deducted and collected more than $2.4 million in federal income and Social Security taxes from employee wages but failed to pay the withholdings to the Internal Revenue Service.
      In addition, Polselli failed to file personal income tax returns after grossing $602,000 in 1995 and $697,000 in 1996.
      As part of his plea, Polselli is required to file correct individual returns for 1997 through 2002 and correct employment tax returns for all businesses in which he was majority owner, said Mark Kroczynski, special agent for IRS criminal investigations.
      As president and part-owner of an investment partnership that owns Sugar Loaf, he closed the Cedar ski resort in March 2000 after two poor ski seasons.
      An effort was made to reopen the resort two winters ago, but managers were unable to get ski lifts fixed and certified in time.
      Huntington National Bank then foreclosed on mortgages against the property, saying it was owed nearly $4 million in payments and interest. An auction sale of the property was stalled when Polselli's investment partnership, Pacific XIX, declared bankruptcy in late summer.
      In November 2002, a Florida real estate investment group that includes Ashley Bloom of Naples bought the mortgages held by Huntington and another company, Singer Island Resorts Inc.
      Bloom's group never foreclosed on the mortgage and has since sold it to another holder, Bloom said Wednesday.
      "In our dealings with Remo, he's done what he's supposed to do," Bloom said.
      Bloom declined to say who now holds the mortgage.

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