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      Skaneateles man gives up freedom, mansion in money-laundering plea

      Charles Blomquist is giving up this lakefront home in Skaneateles / photo by Jim Kenyon

      A Skaneateles man will give up his lakefront mansion and serve just over seven years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court today to charges of money laundering. Charles Blomquist, 52, of Foxfield Drive, Skaneateles admitted in federal court to charges of money laundering, failure to report foreign bank accounts, and tax fraud.Prosecutors say Blomquist placed money in several foreign bank accounts without reporting it, failed to pay taxes on the interest earned and hid the true ownership of the Skaneateles home. The news release from the U.S. Attorney's office says of Blomquist "He further admitted that beginning in the 80's and continuing up to 2009, he acquired a significant amount of revenue from 'specified unlawful activity' and used some of these monies to fund an overseas financial account with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in Switzerland. The government has maintained that the proceeds of Blomquist's 'specified unlawful activity' came from illegal drug trafficking. Blomquist has two prior felony convictions in the State of Florida for drug trafficking."

      As guests prepared to tour Skaneateles Lake on a dinner cruise, many were surprised to learn the story behind one of the notable homes involved conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax fraud - crimes Blomquist pled guilty to in federal court.

      "Good and bad happen everywhere," said Steve Scirello. "All the same- it's really extraordinary. This place has a wonderful reputation and a beautiful image and you hate to hear about something like that."

      Some Skaneateles visitors hoped that the criminal actions of one person wouldn't take away from all the people who built lakeside homes with hard work and legitimate businesses.

      "This is an example of a guy who isn't quite legitimate and wants to be," said William Holzhauer. "He's a wannabe and gets himself in trouble. He gets in over his head and there again it's kind of selfish and greedy."

      Charles Blomquist is expected to be sentenced November 22nd in to a total of 87 months in federal prison.