For years, the Siskey home on Sharon Road in SouthPark gave off the appearance of a remote castle, surrounded by a vast green moat of well-manicured grass.
The auction comes after the 58-year-old Charlotte businessman took his own life in December, shortly after allegations emerged that he had long operated a Ponzi scheme costing investors millions of dollars. Proceeds from the auction are expected to benefit investors and other creditors, an attorney for Diane Siskey has said.
Auctioneer Will Lilly, of the Iron Horse Auction Co. of Rockingham, has handled sales for NASCAR drivers and major business figures, but the auction of Rick Siskey’s estate stands out as one of the more significant, he said.
“This is more high-profile due to the nature of the allegations,” said Lilly, who is co-hosting the sale with Leland Little Auctions of Hillsborough.
Auction previews for potential bidders are being held at the home Tuesday 3-7 p.m., Wednesday noon-7 p.m. and Thursday 8 a.m.-10 a.m. The auction itself is being held Thursday at the Charlotte Convention Center, starting at 11 a.m.
More than 500 items are up for sale, ranging from a Bentley convertible to a bespectacled butler statue carrying a champagne flute. The previews allow potential bidders to examine the items as well as to get a glimpse inside the 6,000-square-foot home, which also is for sale but not as part of the auction.
A tour on Monday showed that virtually everything is on the block, from the rugs on the floors to the paintings on the walls to the glassware on the tables. Some of the furniture is out of place now, moved from other rooms or from Siskey’s former SouthPark office, also on Sharon Road.
The home includes a pool and pool house as well as a massive garage that also served as Siskey’s “man cave.” The cars include Corvettes, Bentleys and a 1934 Mercedes. The man cave features a home theater, a bar, a poker table and sports memorabilia, including a signed Michael Jordan jersey.
“When you have vehicles of this asset class, it does generate more interest than normal,” Lilly said.
In the basement of the mansion are two formerly well-stocked wine cellars. The auctioneers have removed the more than 4,000 bottles, Lilly said, because they were perishable. They will be sold in a separate auction in September.
The wine cellar is now just empty racks, including places to store cigars. On one wall, visitors over the years have signed their names and left messages.
“1/29/11 ‘The opening’ Rick Siskey,” reads one of the inscriptions.
After his death, four Siskey companies were pushed into federal bankruptcy court in Charlotte, and filings show that more than 100 investors have submitted claims exceeding $49 million. A court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, Joe Grier, is examining the claims and combing through Siskey’s assets.
Diane Siskey has pledged to set aside $37.5 million of the $47 million in life insurance proceeds from her husband’s death for investors. But attorneys for investors have said that may not be enough.
The home is still controlled by Diane Siskey, but no one lives there any longer, Lilly said. According to social media posts, the Siskeys’ son held a party at the residence over the weekend, but Lilly said no damage was found. Off-duty police officers are now on site to secure the property.