Ind. Conseco Founder’s Mansion Taken Off Auction Block

December 28, 2006

A mansion owned by Conseco Inc. founder Stephen Hilbert will not be auctioned at sheriff’s sale.

Conseco Inc. notified the Hamilton County sheriff’s department Friday that it did not want the auction for the sprawling French-style mansion, said Ryan Leitch, an attorney for Conseco.

The mansion was put on the market in July for $20 million, but failed to sell. It had been scheduled to be auctioned Dec. 28. The 23,000-square-foot home, situated on a 40-acre estate, includes a full-size replica of Indiana University’s Assembly Hall basketball court.

Earlier this month, Hilbert and the insurer reached a confidential settlement in a $250 million dispute over company-backed loans and debt. The settlement spared Hilbert and his wife, Tomisue Hilbert, a public airing of their financial affairs by eliminating the need for a court hearing.

Both Conseco and the Hilberts agreed that the terms of the settlement would remain confidential, and no details were released.

The agreement also put to rest a lawsuit pending in Illinois in which Conseco was seeking more than $160 million in debts from Hilbert.

Conseco slid into bankruptcy reorganization in 2003 and the stock became worthless. Hilbert, who founded the company in 1979, was its chairman and chief executive until April 2000.

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