In any real estate transaction, its almost inevitable that someone will ask why the listing parties are selling. It’s a little more rare when the response is because somebody has to go to prison, but some real estate agents in Lynchburg, VA, are likely having those kind of hushed conversations about a prime piece of property now on the market. Custom-built for Stewart and Gloria Parnell in 1986, the house on the 5-acre estate in the Boonsboro area northwest of Lynchburg, VA, also served as the headquarters of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). As the Parnells prepare to return to federal court in Albany, GA, where Stewart Parnell is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday on 67 federal felony counts, their home of almost 30 years has been listed for $699,000. The 5,558-square-foot house has 5 bedrooms and 3 full and 5 partial bathrooms. The property sits high in a wooded area and has gabled roofs, four fireplaces, brick patios and walkways, and planked pine floors. Over the 2.5-car garage, a 2,500-square-foot apartment provided plenty of space for the PCA headquarters offices. From there, Parnell oversaw PCA’s roasting and processing plants in Suffolk, VA, Plainview, TX, and Blakely, GA. With his private pilot’s license, Parnell fulfilled his CEO duties by flying to the more distant plant sites in a small plane. His daughter, Grey Adams, also worked for PCA from the property. Real estate agents have been working to sell the property at 2121 Wiggington Rd. since April. The average listing price in the 24502 postal area is $154,647, which is 352 percent less than the Parnells are asking. Agents are pitching it as “beautifully situated” with “tons of detail throughout,” making for a “rare opportunity to acquire the one-of-a-kind property.” In addition to confirming that the property owners are Stewart G. and Gloria H. Parnell, Bedford County real estate records show that land and improvements for the property have a combined assessed value of $452,800. (It is not unusual for assessed values to trail behind market values.) There are no overdue taxes on the property, and it is not involved in any special program. There are no businesses within one mile of the estate. The nearest public place appears to be the Randolph College Riding Center. PCA was liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after the company was implicated in a 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak which sickened thousands of people and killed nine of them. Creditors filed more than $200 million in claims during PCA’s bankruptcy proceedings. About $12.5 million in claims from outbreak victims and their survivors were paid from the liability insurance coverage PCA held for such purposes. Stewart Parnell, his peanut broker brother Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson, quality assurance manager for the Blakely plant, are scheduled to be sentenced this coming Monday. It’s possible that Parnell, 61, could receive a sentence longer than his natural lifespan. The jury verdict found Michael Parnell guilty of 30 federal felonies and Wilkerson guilty of obstruction of justice. Two other former PCA executives pleaded guilty under agreements with the prosecution that saw them testify at last year’s trial. Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore, plant manager and operations manager at Blakely, respectively, are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1.
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