Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Virginia Woman, Former Exec Of Investment Company, Pleads Guilty In $132 Million Fraud

Lara Coleman, 40, of Richmond,VA, the former Chief Operating Officer of Investment Properties of America, pleaded guilty yesterday to a superseding indictment for her role in a scheme to defraud investors out of some $132 million. Specifically, Coleman plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and making a material false statement to federal investigators. Coleman and Edward H. Okun, 57, the owner of Investment Properties of America and The 1031 Tax Group LLP, were originally charged with bilking clients out of funds ostensibly held in trust by the 1031 Tax Group entity. The scheme went on between August 2005 and April 2007 whereby clients were led to believe their investment funds were to be held in the trust only but instead were diverted for Coleman and Okun's own purposes. Okun was originally arrested and charged in March 2008 with mail fraud, "bulk cash smuggling" and making false statements.

Read the story here and here.

Read the superseding indictment here.

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