By Laura Vecsey
SEATTLE (Zillow) — As if it wasn’t enough to have sparked an FBI investigation that has exploded into an international scandal and brought down the head of the CIA, one of the women at the crux of the Petraeus scandal must now also endure intense media scrutiny about her financial implosion.
Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite and military booster who alerted the FBI about the threatening emails that led to the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus, faces foreclosure on her home.
Bought in 2004 for $1.5 million after Jill and her physician husband Scott Kelley moved to Tampa, the six-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom house is at least one asset creditors are seeking to reclaim.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the couple’s financial spiral was under way by the time Jill Kelley first invited Petraeus and his wife, Holly, to their home in 2008, soon after the former general was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base.
“Lawsuits show the Kelleys were treading water by then, when Scott Kelley was making just the minimum payment on a Visa Signature card that had accumulated a balance over $70,000 and was taking on hundreds of dollars in interest each month,” the newspaper reported. “According to a lawsuit filed this year, Kelley defaulted on that card in 2010, the same year Regions Bank sued him and his wife over a debt in excess of $250,000. Chase sued for more than $25,000, and Regions Bank filed to foreclose on their Bayshore home. The bank said it was owed more than $1.7 million, and that it had not gotten any payments since Sept. 2009.”
Jill Kelley continues to be heavily scrutinized after it was revealed this week she was the woman who reported threatening emails she had received to the FBI. The emails led the FBI to Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, who had an affair with Petraeus while he was serving as military commander of U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
A second commander, U.S. Gen. John Allen, who oversees U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has also been implicated in the scandal. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it is investigating “potentially inappropriate” correspondence between Allen and Kelley.
While FBI investigators took materials from Broadwell’s home in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, the media circus has set up shop outside Kelley’s home on Bayshore Boulevard in the Tampa neighborhood of North Hyde Park. The waterfront home was where Kelley hosted many parties for military personnel and other high-profile guests over the years. By many accounts, Kelley worked fast and furiously to knit her family into Tampa’s society circles.
“Determined to make her footprint, Jill Kelley knocked on doors up and down Bayshore Boulevard, asking homeowners if their house was for sale. She wanted the prestigious address, and she got it. In June 2004, the couple paid $1.5 million for a 4,800-square-foot brick mansion with stately white pillars and a view of Hillsborough Bay, just six miles from MacDill Air Force Base,” wrote Ben Montgomery and Amy Scherzer of the Tampa Bay Times.