Is Developer In Financial Trouble? - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 05/26/06

Is Developer In Financial Trouble?

We have learned a Hattiesburg developer proposing to build a sports arena in Jackson has past troubles with the internal revenue service. John G. Disotell promises great things for the capital city. 

First the developer must prove he can come up with the cash through private investors to finance the controversial 40- million dollar sports arena on Lakeland Drive. We have learned he has a history of back taxes with the IRS.

Our investigation turned up federal tax liens against the developer. Documents obtained through the Secretary of State's office indicate Disotell owes nearly $290,000 dollars in back taxes to the internal revenue service dating back to 1998.

Disotell said leins are not unusual. "Well there is a lien. We have a payment plan in place that's already been taken care of."
"So how much do you owe now?"
"Talk to Mr. Robert jackson in Hattiesburg, my tax attorney. And he'll inform you of everything you need."

Fearing they could lose the project .... city officials fast- tracked the 40- million dollar sports arena. Just Tuesday, unanimous approval of a memorandum commiting a minimum of 5- million in bond money. Greg Disotell told us the tax lien has no bearing on the October first deadline to prove he has financing for the proposed sports arena. Adding, he was working with the irs and only owes 150- thousand dollars. 

Disotell also told us if he's embarrassed by this report he could move the project to Pearl or Flowood.

A local cpa tells wlbt news.. it's not unusual for a developer to have irs tax liens. However 300 -thousand in multiple years is a lot. Disotel reportedly has spent some 15-million dollars developing a shopping center at Crossgates.

When contacted councilman Ben Allen says the developers financial deals will be examined at upcoming meetings. Councilman Allen says city leaders have assurances financial obligations can be met.

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