Located in Westport, CT, this is the waterfront estate of Stewart (Stew) J. Leonard, Sr., and his wife Marianne Leonard. Stew Leonard, Sr. is the founder of Stew Leonard's, Inc., the largest grocery store in the world, in terms of square footage, according to Ripley's Believe It Or Not! This home is located down the street from his son's house, Stew Leonard, Jr., who is the current President and CEO of Stew Leonard's, Inc.
Mr. Leonard is a convicted felon. In 1993, Stew Leonard Sr. was convicted of committing tax fraud through an elaborate scheme to divert more than $17 million in cash register receipts over a ten-year period. He was sentenced to 52-months in jail. Court documents indicated that Stew Leonard Jr. played a role in the tax fraud. However, in the interest of protecting his son and the store, Stew Leonard Sr. pleaded guilty in exchange for an agreement from the prosecutors to not bring charges against Stew Leonard Jr.
Recently, Mr. Leonard has been the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit. "Barbara Speranza claims her husband, Robert Speranza, 73, died as the result of the reckless and negligent behavior of Leonard and his son, Thomas Leonard, in operating the $4.6 million, 70-foot powerboat, 'Stew's Special.'" According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 16, 2011, Robert Speranza was a passenger of the Leonards' boat near the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands when the reckless operation of the boat caused him to be tossed overboard. Speed may have been a factor, as the boat was designed to go as fast as 90 mph. A former NASA engineer, Speranza later went on to build many of the homes on Saugatuck Shores in Westport. He and his wife later moved to St. Maarten where they owned the Ocean Club resort.
This home has 4,911 square feet of living space. The current appraised value of the property is $5,804,600, according to public property records.