Will Pennsylvania's Largest Mansion be Looking for a New Owner Following Tax Fraud Allegations?
Where there's a system, there's bound to be someone trying to push the limits of such a system. This certainly seems to be one of those situations.
The last time that we brought up the idea of the largest private residence in a state, the story was some of the same. For those who don't recall, our readers particularly liked the story of Montana's biggest mansion that ended with fraud and a fake kidnapping. You can read more about that here.
This time, though, we're talking about another one of the country's biggest homes. The timeline, this time, takes us to none other than Bell Acres, PA. Bell Acres is home to droves of multi-million dollar homes. However, even with the landscape of wealth, one home stands out among the rest. In fact, the home is so massive that it's even notable to the air traffic above. As it turns out, though, this particular home has been linked to some questionable activity.
From what we can tell, the story traces its way back to 2002. On a warm June day, Pittsburgh Business Times reported on what they called the "Biggest mystery in Bell Acres," asking the question "Who is building the massive castle?" The home was so big that it made the town stir with questions of what was going on and who was behind it all.
The answer to the question of ownership of the residence on Beech Ridge Road - Joseph Nocito Sr. At the time, the man was described as an entrepreneur and real estate developer. In more recent reports, though, he was titled a "Former PA health services company executive."
With the home, the developer was shooting for the moon with a home that spans 12 bedrooms, 13.8 bathrooms, and a garage that can hold as many as 15 cars over the spread of 39,000 sqft. The footprint was a good bit bigger than the next biggest home in the neighborhood that stood at 17,000 sqft.
We found a wide variety of interviews and most of them captured opinions of the home that found it astonishing. It's not every day that someone builds a structure akin to a shopping mall to live in.
As we fast forward, we find that Mr. Nocito was perhaps a little bit too careful with his cash, though. If there's one entity that nobody wants to get on the wrong side of, it's the IRS. If you lie to them, they'll probably find out and from what we've heard, the organization isn't too fond of liars.
The "Tax Dispute"
Early in 2018, Nocito came under fire, being accused of claiming his luxury cars and massive mansion that became known as "Villa Noci," as business expenses. For the matter, he was charged with tax fraud by federal prosecutors.
However, as is usually the case with these sorts of proceedings, that wasn't the end. The list of details goes on...
Included on the list of business writeoffs was said to be a personal butler, a Jaguar, Maserati, and a Rolls-Royce.
Later down the rap sheet, we find that he was also accused of understating his personal income while concealing millions of dollars in company profits.
Local papers say that some of these expenses were fraudulently recorded as "consulting" or "development." Among them, we find $237,000 sent to a swimming pool business and almost $100,000 for lumber.
Nocito hadn't communicated much with the media as the case was underway. Instead, his attorney had relayed that his client was cooperating with the government on the matter - part of this statement can be seen below.
The statement read "Mr. Nocito looks forward to resolving this matter in a court of law rather than in the media and he will have no further response to the Government’s allegations until the appropriate time and place."
There have been no reports on what would eventually happen with Nocito's case. However, reports did relay that his secretary pleaded guilty in 2015 to helping him evade more than $4 million in federal income taxes.
There have been no recent updates on the case other than it was still ongoing as of the summer of 2020. Nocito was said to have entered a "not guilty" plea in March of 2018.
There have been no changes in property records that would indicate any sort of change in ownership of the mansion.
We can't be sure what's to come of this mega mansion mystery. Keep it locked to our Facebook page for any updates.