Ward built a life for himself, his wife and their two daughters on the strength of a business that developed exclusive vacation-home communities across the country.
In 2007, he and his wife moved from Atlanta to Orlando's tony Isleworth country-club community; and it was in that mansion Monday night that, police say, Bob Ward shot and killed Diane Ward.
The aftermath shows a family that was in severe financial distress.
The company went bankrupt in 2008 and had its assets sold for $15.6 million in January, court records show.
The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house — once owned by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, former major-league pitcher Orel Hershiser and publishing mogul Rance Crain — is in foreclosure.
The Wards hadn't made a monthly mortgage payment of $16,841 for more than a year, and as of July, they owed $3.6 million on the home they bought for $4.3million, according to court records.
Listed for $5.2 million, the house has been for sale for nearly two years, according to its listing on realtor.com.
"I think Bob was hit with every kind of stress you can imagine," Saare said. "I don't have a clue as to what happened."
Whether this was murder as the police allege or suicide as James Ward's attorney claims, it's clear that the finger that pulled the trigger was on the invisible hand of Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan's Body Count now stands at 111.
UPDATE 9/24: Varones readers have the best inside scoop! Someone in Charlotte (headquarters of a certain very large bank) apparently knows the backstory and arrived here this evening by Googling "j robert ward to appear at bank of america w/financial records". Yeah, you're probably pretty much free to schedule something else in that time slot, BofA dude! But thanks for tipping us of that it was you guys who made all those bad loans to Bob Ward.
While we're at it, I found this case where a Richard W. McWhorter (presumably this Atlanta developer) was suing Bob for fraud. Sorry, Dick, but you're not going to get much out of that case.
And whaddaya know? Our BofA googler had it right:
The Wards were supposed to bring four years' worth of financial documentation to a deposition Wednesday at the Bank of America Building, located at 390 North Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando; however, James Ward now has larger legal troubles than bankruptcy and Diane Ward will never be able to testify under oath regarding the financial allegations.
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