Business

Charlotte businessman Rick Siskey found dead Wednesday

Rick Siskey
Rick Siskey

Richard Siskey, a well-known Charlotte businessman with a YMCA branch named after his family, was found dead Wednesday morning in his Sharon Road home, police said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said they responded to a call about a suicide at Siskey’s house shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. Siskey was found dead at the scene with an apparent gunshot wound, according to a police report. He was 58 years old.

Last week, the federal government filed notice in court that Siskey’s property at the corner of Sharon Road and Sharon Lane – purchased in 1999 for $2.8 million – could be subject to forfeiture because of possible fraud. An order signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer says an FBI agent presented an affidavit to the court alleging the property was derived from proceeds stemming from violations of U.S. fraud statutes. The filing does not provide any details on the alleged fraud.

Other documents in the case were sealed. Representatives from the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Charlotte could not immediately be reached Wednesday.

In 1995, Rick Siskey’s support of the YMCA organization was honored with the naming of the Siskey Family YMCA in Matthews. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Siskey was known for making investments in young technology companies.

“We are profoundly saddened by the death of our former colleague Rick Siskey,” said a statement from Siskey Capital, an investment fund Siskey was formerly affiliated with. Marty Sumichrast, managing member of the firm, told the Observer last week that Siskey had resigned from the company and that the government’s inquiry was not related to the firm. “We offer our sincere condolences to the family, pray for their healing and ask that everyone respect the need for privacy during this very difficult time.”

A long history in Charlotte

Siskey was only 36 when the YMCA of Greater Charlotte announced in 1995 that its fledgling Matthews/Union County branch would be named for him, following a donation to a $18 million capital campaign by him and his wife, Diane.

“I believe the Y is an essential fabric of our society that weaves the community together,” Siskey said at the time.

He continued to support the organization, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Siskey. Rick’s steadfast generosity has helped fuel the success of the Siskey Family YMCA in Matthews. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Siskey family at this time,” it said.

Siskey was at Charlotte’s Consolidated Planning Inc., which specialized in helping business owners with estate, tax and financial planning. He also owned an investment company with stakes in several local restaurants and computer-consulting companies.

Siskey said he felt indebted to the YMCA after spending much of his time as a youth at the facility in Kankakee, Ill., about 60 miles south of Chicago, where his family moved after he was born in Charlotte.

After starting as an entry-level insurance salesman in Illinois, he returned to Charlotte in 1985, joining Consolidated Planning without a single client. By the mid-1990s, he was doing business with dozens of local entrepreneurs and professionals. Consolidated’s CEO, Andrew Brincefield, said Wednesday that Siskey left the firm 18 years ago and has not been affiliated with it since.

In 1999, Bissell Development named a building on Sharon Road near SouthPark mall the Siskey Building, for the first anchor tenants to commit to office space there. Siskey, then chairman of the Siskey Cos. and president of Consolidated International Group, said those companies and affiliated firms might occupy up to 40,000 square feet of the building.

Staff writer Bruce Henderson contributed.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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