Friday, March 20, 2009

Update On $126 Million Virginia Fraud Scheme: Okun Convicted

Edward Hugh Okun, 58, of Miami Beach, Florida, was convicted by a Virginia jury yesterday on 23 felony criminal charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, bulk cash smuggling and perjury. Okun, the sole owner and senior officer of The 1031 Tax Group LLP, together with company officer Laura Coleman, conspired to misappropriate as much as $126 million in client funds that were supposedly held in trust in a purported capital gains deferment program. The indictment had alleged that Okun used the misappropriated funds to "support his lavish lifestyle, pay operating expenses for his various companies, invest in commercial real estate, and purchase additional qualified intermediary companies to obtain access to additional client funds." Okun reportedly purchased an aircraft, yacht and other luxury items with the ill-gotten funds. Okun is pictured here in a screenshot taken from a 2005 video of his lavish wedding with bride Simone Bolani. Laura Coleman previously pleaded guilty in January on similar charges.

Read FraudTalk's earlier post on this story here.

Read the story here and here.

Read the DOJ's announcement here.

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