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Gianni Versace's Miami Beach mansion to be auctioned

July 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., July 17 (UPI) -- The Miami Beach mansion where Italian designer Gianni Versace was gunned down in 1997 is to be put up for auction in September, The Miami Herald reports.

The property on Ocean Drive is currently owned by Peter Loftin, a telecomm entrepreneur who bought it from Versace's heirs in 2000. Loftin attempted to convert the property into a nightclub, restaurant or private club with little success.

The court-ordered sale is scheduled Sept. 17, the Herald said. The Fisher Auction Co., which is handling the sale, said bidders will have to be able to put up $3 million as a deposit.

Versace, founder of the fashion house that bears his name, divided his time between Italy and Miami Beach, sharing his homes with his longtime partner, Antonio D'Amico. He was shot on the steps of the mansion by Andrew Cunanan, who had killed at least four other people in Minnesota, Chicago and New Jersey. Cunanan took his own life while hiding on a houseboat in South Florida eight days later, and investigators never found a motive for the Versace killing.

Loftin paid $19 million for the property. He brought in lawyer Scott Rothstein to convert it into a restaurant and nightclub, an effort that unraveled when Rothstein was charged with a large Ponzi fraud.

VM South Beach has a $32 million claim against the property and can acquire it for that amount if no one bids more, the Herald said. Loftin has listed it at $75 million and apparently hopes to get at least that much at the auction.

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