Skip to Content

Wanna Buy a Former (Alleged!) Airbnb Scam for $4M?

The ginormous Washington County estate has a colorful, allegedly scammy past.


West Lakeland Township wasn't happy with how Karl E. Auleciems utilized his massive mansion, according a lawsuit originally filed in 2019. Neither were his neighbors, who'd "frequently complain" about the weddings, post-prom bashes, and family reunions that rented out the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom, 13,598-square-foot behemoth he built in 2015.

Auleciems was ordered to stop, but he kept listing the unpermitted compound on "HomeAway, VRBO, AirBNB etc.," the township alleged. In the fall of 2021 Washington County piled on, charging Auleciems with 74 tax crimes related to his "deceitful [rental] scheme." He was accused of owing $194,961.43 in unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest, plus having stolen $17,960 from renters through unreturned security deposits, Bring Me the News reported.

Now Auleciems is hoping to unload the "True estate on top of the Lake Elmo Bluffs" for $3.95 million. In terms of square footage, it's currently the second-largest home for sale in the metro—behind only Randy Moss's enormous old place. Among the blue-blood amenities: a half-basketball court/climbing wall, a gym, a movie theater, a sauna, a vault, a solar electric system, and a roughed-in elevator shaft. It's the 13th most-expensive Twin Cities home on the market, and it's not exactly flying off it; it's been listed on and off the since 2020 and, curiously, the price keeps creeping up.

The mansion is still listed on short-term rental website FlipKey for $2,290 per night. There are no reservations or reviews; despite being updated last October, the description includes a reference to the nearby "US Bank super bowl stadium." The host's name is "Larry A.," one of the pseudonyms utilized by Auleciems, per the township's criminal complaint. "Ethan" was the other name he'd use to message guests as a representative of KEASons Enterprises, the unregistered biz he used when renting the mansion, its garage, a Wisconsin cabin, and a place in Stillwater.

Hilariously, a 2010 book apparently authored by Auleciems has the following title and cover art:

In a one-star Amazon review titled "Not a real book," reviewer Paul A. Lesieur writes: "This badly conceived effort by a pretend expert is nothing more than an 80 plus page advertisement to hire the author." (Auleciems is the CEO at Castle Advocacy Group, according to his LinkedIn.) The other three reviews are more favorable.

We reached out to the Washington County Attorney's Office for an update on the many charges against Auleciems, but didn't immediately hear back.

In the meantime, let's take a good look at that big, big house courtesy of the MLS listing:

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter