Embattled Mirabilis Ventures Inc., under siege by creditors, the Internal Revenue Service and a federal grand jury for failed business dealings and an employment tax scandal, announced Friday it has suffered at least $285 million in losses.

The public disclosure -- the first made by the Orlando company about its losses -- came as Mirabilis announced it had launched the first wave of lawsuits against former company officials, creditors and partners with whom they loaned or invested money.

"The company has been working on gathering information," said Bob O'Malley, a public relations consultant hired by Mirabilis. "And now is the time to file the collection actions."

"Mirabilis is shutting down and we are in collection mode so we can recover assets owed to the company and pay off its obligations."

He said any money collected would be assigned to the Internal Revenue Service to cover any back taxes owed for entities related to Mirabilis, including Presidion Solutions, a defunct payroll and human resource firm. Former company officials say Presidion and related entities owe the government more than $100 million in back taxes.

Several angry former employees have complained that Mirabilis has failed to honor health insurance claims from earlier this year when it laid off scores of employees and shut down virtually all of its subsidiaries and insurance processing units. O'Malley said the company would cover those debts if they present proper documentation.

Five Justice Department lawsuits filed against Presidion and related payroll outsourcing firms tied to Amodeo, Mirabilis or prior owners were filed this summer seeking up to $223 million in back taxes dating to 2001. But they quietly were dropped by prosecutors, apparently filed prematurely.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Gold, who is running the Mirabilis probe, said Friday he could not comment on Mirabilis disclosures because of an ongoing investigation. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office regional headquarters in Tampa confirmed the Mirabilis probe to the Sentinel in March after the newspaper obtained a grand jury subpoena for records in the case and interviewed several witnesses questioned by IRS and FBI investigators.

Mirabilis, an obscure investment fund which owned or held investments in 70 companies ranging from construction, restaurant and human resource payroll firms, claimed revenues of nearly $1 billion last year. It was the brainchild of Frank L. Amodeo, 47, of Orlando. Disbarred as a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer in 1994 who later served two years in federal prison for fraud, he took over Mirabilis in 2005 as a shell company and became its chief strategist and investor.


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