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Feds Seize Home of Ex-Tourism Director

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) -- The federal government has seized a Florida Panhandle home bought by a former tourism director with public money sent by BP after the 2010 oil spill.

A federal judge signed an order Friday turning over the Destin home to government authorities.

Former Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council director Mark Bellinger died May 4 of an apparent drug overdose days after being accused of misusing the money from BP to buy the home. He also admitted to using tax dollars to buy a yacht.

His widow signed away all rights to the property in June. Officials say proceeds from the sale of the house will be used to reimburse the county for its losses.


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