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Hamburg estate for sale: Only $1.75 million

For sale: 16,000 square feet of home on six acres of landscaped grounds, with almost every amenity imaginable.

One of the region's biggest estates -- known for being part of the biggest residential real estate deal in Erie County history -- is back on the market but for 40 percent less than the last time it sold.

That was when Michael Wilson, a disgraced former self-proclaimed financier from Cleveland, bought the estate from Sorrento Cheese heir John Russo for $3 million, and an adjacent 17,000-square-foot office property for another $3.3 million - $6.3 million in all.

Wilson, who is in his mid-20s now, was indicted for a scheme to defraud investors of more than $8 million through his New Frontier and Phantom Holdings companies. He lured investors into financial instruments with complex names that promised high returns but he actually spent the money on his homes, cars, artwork and other luxuries.

Wilson, who now faces criminal charges of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, financed the property purchases with a mortgage from Russo, who later foreclosed and reclaimed both properties.

The enormous Tudor-style mansion at 6523 Boston State Road in Hamburg features six bedrooms, seven full-bathrooms and four half-bathrooms, plus a dining room, family room, kitchen and living room. For pleasure, it also offers an indoor pool with a brick poolside bar, plus a hot tub and a solarium.

Outside, it's surrounded by manicured lawns, ponds, lush gardens and an abundance of trees, all on private grounds. The central pond is marked by a fountain in the center. Built in 1992, it's about a half-mile from the Village of Hamburg.

It's currently on the market for a meager $1.75 million -- reduced from more than $2 million. "It's a fabulous home at a good price," said George C. Hamberger of RealtyUSA, a commercial real estate broker who handled the listing for Russo, a friend, for a year, until the end of December. "John keeps the home in like-new condition so it blows people away when they see it."

Hamberger said Russo still wants to sell the home, but may wait until the spring to renew the listing. The adjacent office property is now home to the Hamburg Brewing Co., a new business venture by Russo and his son.

-- Jonathan D. Epstein

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