Betty Loren-Maltese’s old Cicero home goes on auction block
By Mary Houlihan Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 25, 2011 12:28AM
Betty Loren-Maltese's former residence at 3818 S. Austin in Cicero goes on the auction block Thursday. The home features three bedrooms, two baths and a finished basement with full kitchen. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times
Updated: July 26, 2011 2:46PM
For sale later this week: A piece of Cicero’s storied political history.
The modest brick house that once belonged to former Town President Betty Loren-Maltese will be auctioned off on Thursday, the result of Loren-Maltese’s 2002 conviction in an insurance scam.
Potential buyers had one last chance to get a look at Loren-Maltese’s old digs on Sunday during a four-hour open house. Thirty-two groups of people showed up, but most had no idea who the former owner was.
One of the few who did was Connie Schafer of Darien.
“It’s an interesting history, but it’s still just a house,” Schafer said. “It looks better from the outside. The inside really needs updating.”
The 1,200-square-foot home on South Austin in Cicero has three bedrooms, 1.5 baths and a finished basement. There’s a touch of Loren-Maltese in the fancy lavender drapes, pleated shades and massive white entertainment center in the mirror-walled living room.
Loren-Maltese, whose Facebook page says she now lives in Palos Hills, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy for defrauding Cicero residents of more than $12 million in a mob-related insurance scam. She served six years in prison.
The government seized four of Loren-Maltese’s properties, including the Cicero house, a bigger home in Las Vegas and two properties in Indiana. In March, a judge ruled that authorities can go ahead with the Cicero auction in an attempt to recoup some of the $8.3 million she owes.
Real estate broker Harold Couture said — based on the 32 groups of people who went through the house Sunday — this week’s auction should be well-attended.
“For these days and times, that could mean 10 to 15 people who are seriously interested,” Couture said.
Loren-Maltese has told WMAQ-Channel 5 that she’d be willing to go to lunch with the winning bidder. She has also said she plans to show up at the auction, which takes place at the house, 3818 S. Austin, at noon on Thursday.
For more details, go to treas.gov/auctions/treasury/rp and click upcoming auctions or call (703) 273-7373. For more pictures of the house, go to suntimes.com.