Government hates competition

Russell Cole once called his extravagant Deerfield home "the house that Best Buy built," according to federal court documents that outline how more than $31 million allegedly was swindled from the national retail giant.

The $2.75 million that Cole and his wife, Abby, used to buy the land and build their two-story house with its distinctive cupola were "the proceeds of fraud," investigators say in the documents.

Missing from the Kenmore Avenue property are the Ferrari coupe, Lamborghini convertible and a collection of nine other luxury and high-performance vehicles worth about $2.8 million that federal agents seized in November and December.


Even though Best Buy and National Parts officials sometimes questioned price discrepancies, those concerns were smoothed over by a Best Buy employee who received money and gifts from the Coles, officials alleged.

In one example outlined in the documents, Chip Factory won a bid for 20 computer parts at $42 per part, while the next lowest bid was $72. Chip Factory later charged Best Buy $571 per part, according to documents.
from the Trib

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